New focus on Israeli WMD after Syria CW deal

New focus on Israeli WMD after Syria CW deal

Recent efforts to force Syria dismantle its chemical weapons will likely fuel lingering complaints of Muslim and Arab nations about Israeli-held Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), including chemical and nuclear warheads.

The release of recently declassified CIA documents suggesting that the Israeli regime secretly built up its own stockpile of chemical and biological weapons decades ago further add to the urgency of looking into the widely suspected Israeli arsenal of WMD, according to an RT article published Saturday.

“Both Russia and the US are likely to ask Israel to dismantle its stocks,” the article by Ivan Fursov speculates, pointing to Syrian insistence that its estimated 1,000-ton chemical weapons stockpile served merely as a deterrent against a military confrontation with the heavily armed and US-backed Israel regime.

“The chemical weapons in Syria are a mere deterrence against the Israeli nuclear arsenal,” Syria’s Permanent UN Representative Bashar Jaafari said last Thursday, referring to the declassified CIA report on Tel Aviv’s chemical weapons program.

“It’s a deterrent weapon and now the time has come for the Syrian government to join the CWC as a gesture to show our willingness to be against all weapons of mass destruction,” he further emphasized.

Jaafari then underlined that “the main danger of WMD is the Israeli nuclear arsenal,” stressing that the Tel Aviv regime also possesses chemical weapons but “nobody is speaking about that.”

According to the secret 1983 CIA intelligence estimate obtained and published recently by US-based Foreign Policy (FP) Magazine, American surveillance satellites uncovered in 1982 “a probable CW [chemical weapon] nerve agent production facility and a storage facility… at the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area in the Negev Desert.”

“Other CW production is believed to exist within a well-developed Israeli chemical industry,” the document further adds.
According to FP, US intelligence agencies are almost certain that the Israeli regime possesses a stockpile of nuclear weapons that it developed in the 1960s and 1970s [with reported assistance from US and France] as part of what the magazine describes as “its defense against a possible attack from Arab neighbors.”

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed on Tuesday, “It’s well known that Syria has a certain arsenal of chemical weapons and the Syrians always viewed that as an alternative to Israel’s nuclear weapons.”

Now, according to the RT article, the Syrian government is suggesting it may not decommission its chemical weapons stockpiles unless its neighbors do likewise.

Such statements, it adds, put the Syrian chemical weapons crisis into a new perspective. “The US administration has for decades refused to discuss Israeli arsenals that allegedly contain nuclear warheads. By bringing the issue to an international discussion, Damascus might put the Obama administration into an awkward position.”

There has already been a reaction from Washington, when the State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said that the US will never accept attempts to compare the Syrian government with what she claimed as the “thriving democracy” of the occupying Israeli regime.

Tel Aviv has reportedly signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which came into force in 1997, but has never ratified it. It remains to be seen whether it will now ratify it, as well the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.

So far, the CWC has been signed and ratified by 189 countries, with only seven refusing to join the Convention: Israel, Angola, Burma, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan.

On Thursday, Syria’s UN envoy announced that his country had technically joined the CWC.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry announced a landmark agreement in Geneva, Switzerland on Saturday, under which Syrian government will turn over a list of its chemical weapons, munitions and related facilities within a week, and to allow international inspectors into the country “no later than November.”

According to the deal, Syria’s chemical arms would be destroyed — possibly at sites outside of Syria — by mid-2014.

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