IAEA to focus on Israeli nukes in June
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will discuss Israel – the owner of Middle East’s sole atomic arsenal — and its nuclear activities.
The IAEA is allowed to refer nuclear proliferation concerns to the UN Security Council.
The issue, which has always eluded IAEA’s agenda with the help of the United States, has been included in the list of items to be brought up at the agency’s gathering on June 7, the Associated Press reported Saturday.
The matter is to be discussed under the subject of Israel’s “nuclear capabilities” at the request of the body’s 18 Arab members.
The organization has avoided the issue since its inception and for more than half a century amid Israel’s insistence on maintaining a policy of nuclear “ambiguity,” under which the regime neither confirms nor denies having nuclear weapons.
Tel Aviv has repeatedly brushed aside international calls for joining the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Since 1958, when Israel began building the Dimona plutonium and uranium processing facility, it has allegedly manufactured scores of nuclear warheads, earning reputation as the sole owner of such weapons in the Middle East.
Former US President Jimmy Carter has attested to the existence of the arsenal, which he said includes between 200 to 300 warheads.
According to AP, the June meeting’s agenda could change, should Washington and other Israeli allies raise strong objections to the measure.