BERLIN – A senior International Atomic Energy Agency official warned against a
unilateral military strike on Iranian nuclear sites on Monday at a global
security conference in Berlin.
Tariq Rauf, head of verification and
security policy coordination at the IAEA, told the International Luxembourg
Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe that “the use or threat of force
unilaterally to deal with proliferation challenges does not guarantee
success. At best, [the result] could be incomplete, and at worst, it
could be a driver to proliferation.”
The comments come as speculation
continues over potential Israeli or American military action against Iranian
nuclear sites, against the backdrop of diplomatic negotiations, economic
sanctions and mysterious computer viruses afflicting Iran.
much of his talk discussing his vision of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the
Middle East. A November meeting on prospects for regional nuclear disarmament
provided “a faint glimmer of hope... to at least engage in preliminary
explorative discussion on a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region,” he
Rauf added that all Middle Eastern IAEA members attended, including
Israel, which he described as “one key state in the region not party to NPT
[Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty].”
The November conference “saw
constructive dialogue... despite the complexity of issues and differences
of views,” he said.
Further spelling out his vision, Rauf said goals
included ending the stockpiling of nuclear weapons, halting the development and
stationing of weapons, and dismantling any nuclear weapons programs.
IAEA’s talks with Israel and its Arab neighbors “show that there still continues
to be a longstanding and fundamental difference of views between Israel on the
one hand and the other states of the Middle East region on other hand, with
regards to the application of.
IAEA safeguards to all nuclear activities
in region,” he continued.
Arab states have long attempted to exploit
their IAEA membership to place diplomatic pressure on Jerusalem over the nuclear
Summarizing his understanding of Israel’s stance, Rauf said,
“Israel takes the view that IAEA safeguards, as well as other regional security
issues, cannot be addressed in isolation from the creation of stable regional
security conditions – and that these issues should be addressed in the framework
of a regional security and arms control dialogue.”
The Israeli stance at
last year’s meeting won backing from the US, UK and Russia.
that the nuclear dialogue “could be resumed in the framework of a multilateral
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