Egypt is not seeking to acquire nuclear arms and wants to rid the region of such weapons, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheith said.
A May 2008 US cable released by WikiLeaks quoted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as warning US officials Egypt might develop nuclear arms if Iran obtained them. In 2007, Mubarak announced the resumption of a decades-old nuclear program for generating electricity and the bid for Egypt's first nuclear power station is due in weeks. 'Egypt does not seek to get nuclear arms because they would not be used and because their costs are huge. But we seek to rid the region of nuclear arms,' Gheith told reporters. Iran and Egypt severed ties in 1980 after Iran's Islamic Revolution and Egypt's recognition of Israel. They are still at odds over issues such as the Middle East peace process and ties with Israel and the US.