IAEA slams Israel's nuclear policy

Only US backs Jewish state against resolution calling for ME nations to halt nuke development.

By
September 20, 2007 19:29
2 minute read.
IAEA slams Israel's nuclear policy

ElBaradei 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A 144-nation atomic energy conference criticized Israel Thursday for refusing to put its nuclear program under international purview, with the United States alone in supporting the Jewish state. Besides Washington, only Israel voted against the resolution while 53 nations backed it and 47 abstained. The remaining nations were absent for the highly unusual vote - only the second in the 16 years the issue has been on the agenda of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Up to last year, the resolution on "Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East" had been adopted by consensus, but in 2006, and again this year, Israeli objections forced a vote. This year, Israel opposed two paragraphs - one calling all nations in the Middle East "not to develop, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons," the other urging nuclear weapons states to "refrain from any action" hindering the establishment of a Mideast zone free of nuclear weapons. Both passages were clearly aimed at Israel, which is considered to have nuclear weapons despite its "no tell" policy on the issue and which counts on the United States as its chief ally for support - both in the outside world and in forums such as the conference. Israeli opposition last year was sparked by a separate Arab-sponsored resolution deeming Israel a "nuclear threat" and refusal by its sponsors to withdraw it. While that resolution was put up for adoption it was not voted on. A similar resolution was being prepared for consideration at the gathering Friday. A Western diplomat whose country normally is supportive of Israel sought to diminish the negative impact of the vote, pointing out that last year, 98 approved the resolution, with three abstaining and the United States and Israel opposed. Still, although the conference has no decision-making powers, the lack of consensus reflected deepening tensions in the Middle East. Evidence that that Israel has nuclear arms is overwhelming, much of it based on details and pictures leaked in 1986 by Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu. His revelations have been added to by other leaks, research, and by statements made by Israeli leaders that stopped just short of confirming Israel's status as a weapons state. Israel's doctrine of "nuclear ambiguity" - never formally confirming or denying that it has such weapons - is meant to scare potential enemies from considering an annihilating attack while denying them the rationale for developing their own nuclear deterrent. Explaining his call for a vote, chief Israeli delegate Gideon Frank suggested lack of willingness to remove resolution language his country objected to showed there was "no interest in consensus" by Egypt, which submitted the document and the other nations most in support - Arab countries and Iran. "The way to build security ... is to aim high but start modestly and move carefully ahead," Frank told delegates, arguing - as every year - that distrust in the region had to be dismantled slowly before sweeping measures like a Middle East nuclear-free zone could be established.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN