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GCC concern over 'missing' Iranian nuclear device

Following the revelation that a nuclear device at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant is missing, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have contacted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to discuss the potential threats that may arise as a result.

The GCC member states have jointly expressed particular concern over whether the missing device could pollute water supplies and the atmosphere in the region, an official told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Dr Adnan Al-Tamimi, the Chairman of the GCC Emergency Management Centre, expressed his concern to the Saudi-owned newspaper over the missing radioactive device. According to reports, the car that was carrying the device was stolen; when it was found, the device was missing.

Al-Tamimi explained that the device has an estimated nuclear half-life of 74 days. This means that security measures need to be in place in case it was stolen with the intention to smuggle it out of the country.

"The low safety and security levels at the Iranian nuclear site and the absence of overall transparency in Iran's nuclear programme have to be a concern," he added.

Iran has long been lambasted by the GCC and other major powers for a suspected nuclear weapons programme. Tehran insists that its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, yet the GCC, especially Saudi Arabia, perceive Iranian ambitions as a threat to regional stability, security and prosperity.

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