Iraq to seek compensation from Israel for ’81 airstrike

Iraq’s parliament is considering legislation that would, if approved, call on the Iraqi government to formally demand compensation from Israel for a 1981 airstrike that destroyed the country’s French-built Osirak nuclear reactor.

Submitted to the assembly’s presidency on Wednesday, the draft legislation seeks compensation from Israel for casualties and material damage incurred by the strike.

Along with destroying the reactor, the airstrike is believed to have left at least 11 Iraqis — including military personnel — dead.

In a statement, MP Oday Awad, author of the proposed legislation, said the 1981 airstrike represented a “clear violation of international treaties” for which Iraq “has the right to demand compensation”.

On June 7, 1981, Israel attacked Iraq’s half-built Osirak nuclear reactor, which had been under construction at the time with the assistance of French technicians.