Israel is lobbying nuclear exporting countries to lift restrictions that prevent them from doing business with the Jewish state, according to documents made available Tuesday to The Associated Press, in a move that could concern Arab nations which already considers their neighbor as the region's atomic arms threat.
The push is reflected in papers Israel presented earlier this year to the "Nuclear Suppliers' Group" - 45 nations that export nuclear fuel and technology under strict rules meant to lessen the dangers of proliferation and trafficking in materials that could be used for a weapons program.
The initiative appeared to be linked to a US-India deal that would effectively waive NSG rules by allowing the United States to supply India with nuclear fuel despite its refusal both to sign the nonproliferation treaty and to allow the IAEA to inspect all of its nuclear facilities.
Israeli officials began examining how their country could profit from the US-India deal as early as last year, at one point proposing that the US help them cut a deal with NSG countries, said a diplomat. But the US turned down that request, he said, demanding anonymity for discussing restricted information.