The US and some European allies seek deeper nuclear ties with Israel and other non-members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a confidential paper reveals.
Israel which by policy does not confirm its estimated stockpile of 80 or more nuclear warheads, is the first on the list, according to the report.
Ahead of the last week’s meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the United States, Britain and the Czech Republic sponsored a Dutch paper to ensure that civilian nuclear exports are not diverted for military purposes, Reuters reported.
“With technology progressing at an ever increasing rate, globalized supply chains, and more and more countries developing nuclear and dual use capabilities, the possibility of trade in nuclear related goods between governments not participating in the NSG is becoming more and more likely,” the paper said.
It further noted, “In order to stay ahead of the curve, the NSG’s goals – to control the export of nuclear sensitive goods – might be best served by an open-minded approach aimed at cooperation with non-NSG members and promoting transparency of the NSG guidelines.”
The paper also outlined different types of “possible benefits the NSG could consider granting” an entity that is even not in the 48-member group.
These could include sharing of information, access to NSG meetings and “facilitated export arrangements,” suggesting possible access to some nuclear trade with NSG members.
Israel, the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, is widely known to have between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads.
The Israeli regime rejects all the regulatory international nuclear agreements — the NPT in particular — and refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspections.