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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 March 2007, 01:25 GMT
'No reward' for non-nuclear Libya
Muammar Gaddafi during the BBC interview
Col Gaddafi says the West has failed to live up to its promises
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has said his country has not been given adequate compensation for its decision to renounce nuclear weapons in 2003.

Speaking to the BBC, Colonel Gaddafi said the failure by the West to reward Libya meant Iran and North Korea were reluctant to follow Tripoli's lead.

He insisted there would be no return to the confrontation of the past, however.

Sanctions were lifted after Libya ended its nuclear weapons programme, and the US and UK have resumed diplomatic ties.

Libya was also removed from the US list of state sponsors of terror, a major step towards international rehabilitation.

Investment promise

However, Col Gaddafi says the West has not properly compensated his country because it has failed to transform its nuclear weapons programme into nuclear power.

Libya is disappointed because the promises given by America and Britain were not fulfilled
Col Muammar Gaddafi

Speaking to BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins, Col Gaddafi said this meant the West had lost bargaining power with countries like Iran and North Korea.

"This should be a model to be followed, but Libya is disappointed because the promises given by America and Britain were not fulfilled," he said.

"And therefore those countries said 'we are not going to follow Libya's example because Libya abolished its programme without any compensation'."

Mr Gaddafi said that the US and Britain had a duty to help Libya develop civilian nuclear power plants.

"They said if you abolish your war programme we will help you to develop your nuclear abilities into peaceful ones. This has not happened."

Our correspondent says the Libyan leader may have been bargaining for foreign investment, but a return to hostility does not seem to be on the cards.

'International dictatorship'

Col Gaddafi spoke to the BBC as celebrations were taking place to mark the 30th anniversary of his declaration of Libya's unique system of "popular rule".

He also held a rare public debate with Western scholars, in which he criticised the control that nations with military and economic power held over poorer countries.

It was a pragmatic desire to avoid being destroyed by the "international dictatorship" of such powers that had persuaded Libya to improve its relations with the world, he added.

Col Gaddafi's remarks come as six major powers - the US, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany - discuss possible further sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt its nuclear programme.

US officials have said ambassadors to the UN could begin drafting a new resolution on Iran next week.

Meanwhile, North Korea last month agreed at six-party talks to take the first steps towards nuclear disarmament, in return for economic and fuel aid.

Pressure to find a solution to the nuclear issue increased after Pyongyang conducted its first atomic test in October.


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Colonel Gaddafi speaks to the BBC



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