Iraqi officials were not particularly happy with the reports that a Jewish organization was demanding compensation for the families of Jews who fled the country upon the establishment of the State of Israel.
The Iraqi parliament rushed to prepare a response to the new demand – in the form of a claim for damages from Israel following the bombing of the Osiraq reactor in 1981.
The parliament's Foreign Affairs committee last week discussed the demand for compensation from Israel following "the damages caused to Iraq" as a result of the attack on the reactor 28 years ago. The move was initiated by Parliament Member Muhammad Naji Mahmoud.
According to Mahmoud, Iraq deserves compensation worth "billions of dollars" from Israel, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolution on the bombing of the nuclear reactor.
The committee members plan to pass a bill which would require the Iraqi government to work to obtain the compensation from Israel. Mahmoud stressed that filing a damages claim would not symbolize any recognition of Israel.
It should be noted that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has spoken in the past against filing a damages claim for the bombing of the reactor, explaining that such a move would prompt Israel "to claim billions in damages for the Jewish property."
Doron Peskin is head of research at Info-Prod Research (Middle East) Ltd