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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Iraq asked on Saturday for assistance in building a nuclear power reactor for peaceful purposes, more than 25 years after the destruction of the reactors it had under Saddam Hussein.

"Iraq calls for assistance from our kindred nuclear countries to build a nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes ... in accordance with the non-proliferation treaty," Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafar told the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Iraq had three nuclear reactors in Tuwaitha, its main nuclear research site, south of Baghdad. One was destroyed by an Israeli air raid, in 1981, and the two others by U.S. airplanes in the 1991 Gulf war which followed Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

(Reporting Michelle Nichols; Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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