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(photo credit: Associated Press)
The chief of the organization grouping Arab Gulf countries urged the United States and the international community on Tuesday to press for sanctions on Israel for its nuclear program.
Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, said, "The United States should not apply double standards since it calls for sanctions on countries that have nuclear programs that we have not ruled out are framework of nuclear weapons."
Al-Attiyah's comments followed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's comments on Monday night during an interview with a German television station during which he argued that a nuclear Israel did not pose the same threat as a nuclear Iran.
The US should "seek the implementation of international resolutions, international laws and Chapter 7," Al-Attiyah added, referring to the section of the United Nation's charter that provides for imposing sanctions.
Al-Attiyah, a Qatari diplomat, spoke to journalists along the sidelines of the conference in Kuwait to enhance cooperation between the oil-rich Gulf states and NATO.
Al-Attiyah said, "I believe it is time now for the international community to see that peace and security are now threatened by this announcement."
The NATO meeting follows a summit by the GCC, which groups Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman, that ended Sunday.
Gulf countries have expressed safety concerns about Iran's nuclear program. They are also said to be worried that as host to US military bases they would be on the front line of any Iranian reprisals if the US attacked Iran over its nuclear program.
Most other Arab countries have maintained a diplomatic silence over Iran's program, calling instead for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction - pointed reference to Israel's presumed nuclear weapons' capabilities.