Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's president, has reportedly petitioned the UN on the issue [File: GALLO/GETTY]
Iraq is seeking compensation from Israel over the 1981 bombing of a nuclear reactor it was building, according to an Iraqi MP.
Mohammed Naji Mohammed, an MP from the United Iraqi Alliance coalition, told the al-Sabah newspaper on Tuesday that the cabinet had approved a plan to seek redress through diplomatic channels including the United Nations.
"Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the ministry of foreign affairs petitioned the United Nations and the UN Security Council to demand that Israel pay compensation ... for the 1981 bombing an [Iraqi] nuclear reactor," he was quoted as saying.
The cabinet was reported to have approved the move on November 25 and agreed to form a "neutral" committee to assess the value of the reparations it would seek.
A UN security council resolution passed after the attack on the Osiraq reactor in June 1981 "stongly condemns" Israel's air raid.
It says that the security council "considers that Iraq is entitled to appropriate redress for the destruction it has suffered, responsibility for which has been acknowledged by Israel".
Israeli officials said at the time of the attack that they were concerned that the reactor could be used to produce nuclear weapons.
But the security council said after the air raid that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had testified that its safeguards had been "satisfactorily applied" in Iraq.
Rather, the security council said, the Osiraq attack constituted "a serious threat to the entire safeguards regime" of the UN nuclear agency.
In subsequent years, the security council would censure the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein, the executed former president, for not complying the IAEA inspections.
Meanwhile, Iraq commerce minister was reported as telling the AFP news agency that Baghdad would file lawsuits in the US against foreign firms for alleged fraud in a UN oil-for-food scheme under the government of Saddam Hussein.
"We have asked an American lawyer to prosecute the companies that violated the law regarding the oil-for-food program," Safaldin al-Safi said, but did not give any further details.
French newspaper Liberation said on Tuesday that the Iraqi government has demanded a total of $10 billion in compensation from 93 companies for alleged violations of the terms of the programme.