'Palestinians needed nuke weapons'

LONDON: Arab nations and "even the Palestinians" should be allowed nuclear weapons as long as Israel's nuclear ambitions are tolerated, Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said in an interview out Monday.

Israel is widely considered to be the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear state, and Kadhafi told Britain's Sky News television that the international community should also allow its Arab neighbours to develop nuclear weapons.

"If the Israelis have the nuclear weapons and the nuclear capabilities, then it is the right of the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Saudis to have the same even the Palestinians should have the same because their counterparts, or their opponents, have nuclear capabilities," Kadhafi said.

He added: "And, if we don't want this situation, so we'll have to disarm the Israelis from their nuclear weapons and capabilities."

The Libyan leader said he would oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons if it acknowledges such a goal, but noted Tehran's insistence that its nuclear programme is peaceful something that Western powers dispute.

"Iran, up to now, hasn't said it is manufacturing a nuclear weapon: Iran says it is enriching uranium," Kadhafi said.

"If Iran were to manufacture nuclear weapons, nuclear arms, then all of us, including us, will be against them. But Iran has not said so."

He added: "Our position is clear and it should be clear and evident... that we are against anyone who manufactures, possesses a nuclear weapon, whether it is Iran, America, Libya, or the Israelis."

Meanwhile he said US President Barack Obama merited winning the Nobel Peace Prize, but had been given it too soon.

"I do believe he deserves it, but to be given right now I think it is some sort of hypocrisy, sycophancy, and I think it is premature. It is not due yet," he said.