The US move to slam an IAEA debate over Israel’s nuclear program aims to divert attention from Tel Aviv’s clandestine nuclear weapons, a journalist has told Press TV.
“The US here is just trying to … push the issue of Israel’s weapons back into obscurity,” San Francisco-based journalists Henry Norr said in a Thursday interview with Press TV.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano traveled to al-Quds (Jerusalem) in August to call on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
In his report to the IAEA board of governors on Friday, Amano said he had conveyed to Tel Aviv the agency’s “concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities and invited Israel to consider acceding to the NPT and placing all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards.”
The United States protested the report, with State Department spokesman Philip Crowley saying the IAEA is not the place where Israel’s accession to the NPT can be discussed.
“The real objection [by the US] is not to the particular time or to the particular place where this [Israel’s nuclear program] has come up, but to the very fact that it is being discussed,” Norr further said.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied possessing nuclear weapons while it is widely believed that Tel Aviv has over 200 nuclear warheads.
Having endorsed Israel’s policy of “nuclear ambiguity” over the past 40 years, the US warned the Arab states on Saturday against renewing efforts to focus attention on Israel at the IAEA meeting.