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UAE fears leakage from Iran’s N-reactor

(AFP) / 16 February 2006

DUBAI — Interior Minister Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan voiced fears yesterday of a leakage from neighbouring Iran’s planned nuclear reactor.

“The danger poised by Bushehr nuclear reactor is that it is unpredictable, while protection is practically impossible,” Shaikh Saif told AFP.

“All kinds of detection (of leakage) from a distance would not help to protect against any kind of leakage from this reactor, due to the high-speed movement of the radiation” he added.

Iran, with Russian help, is building a nuclear reactor on its Gulf coast but is facing world pressure over its nuclear work amid fears it is seeking to build weapons.

Shaikh Saif said the UAE is trying to shield itself against terror by cracking down on extremists and promoting a culture of moderation. “Over the past years, we have handed over a number of people wanted on security charges to their countries” in keeping with international agreements, he said.

“The authorities concerned also started dealing with extremist elements among expatriates more than 20 years ago by considering them persona non grata and consequently forcing them to leave the country,” he said.

Shaikh Saif said one factor which “has protected our country from acts of violence so far” is that “all residents ... (are) here in order to make a living, not in order to achieve political or suspicious partisan goals.

He said authorities in the country had not uncovered “organised terrorist cells in the accepted sense of the word, but a group of individuals, mostly expats, who espouse views that conflict with the line of centrism and moderation upheld by the UAE. “None of those detained had actually carried out attacks inside the country, he said.”

Efforts to stop illegal infiltrations into the UAE had also led to “the arrest of many extremist elements,” the minister added.

Shaikh Saif said the UAE had kept terror away by pursuing ‘centrist’ policies, treating people “with compassion and justice” and applying the law to all without discrimination.

“The UAE has also endeavoured to “promote a culture of centrism and moderation that prevents the exploitation of religion for partisan or suspicious goals in schools, universities and mosques,” he said.

Shaikh Saif said besides bringing in legislation to combat terror and money laundering, the UAE was keeping tabs on the activities of Islamic charities and preparing to amend laws to tighten controls on firms that manufacture explosives or chemical materials.

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