Almost 30 years after Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Osirak, and some 19 years after British and US forces destroyed Iraq's remaining nuclear infrastructure, the government in Baghdad began lobbying for approval to again become a nuclear player, according to an article published in the Guardian.
According to the report, published online Tuesday night, Iraq has contacted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and UN in an effort to lift restrictions banning nuclear development in the country.
In addition, Baghdad has reportedly approached France about rebuilding at least one of the reactors which were bombed at the outset of the first Gulf war.
In 1981, IAF fighter jets struck the French-built nuclear reactor in Osirak, completely destroying the facility. Two other reactors were obliterated in 1991.
"We are co-operating with the IAEA and expanding and defining areas of research where we can implement nuclear technology for peaceful means," Iraqi science and technology minister Raid Fahmi told the British paper.
Fahmi insisted Iraq has "only peaceful applications" in mind for a nuclear program, "including the health sector, agriculture â€¦ and water treatment."
"After the dissolution [of the regime] we did not have an industry, but we have become more and more conscious of the need for nuclear technology. This was raised several months ago with the relevant bodies," he said.