U.S. Wants Nuclear Israel to Come Clean?
The US claims it seeks universal nuclear adherence to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in remarks that specify the sole Mideast possessor of nukes — Israel.
US Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller told the 189 NPT signatories in a meeting on Tuesday that Washington wants the countries that have so far shunned the UN nuclear watchdog to join the pact against nukes.
“Universal adherence to the NPT itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea … remains a fundamental objective of the United States,” he claimed.
The top US arms control negotiator nevertheless declined to say whether Washington would in any way press Tel Aviv to join the treaty.
“The administration of President Barack Obama was encouraging all holdouts to join the treaty,” Gottemoeller said.
Israel, which unleashed torrents of criticism against itself with its use of depleted uranium, white phosphorus and other unconventional arms in its latest war on the Gaza Strip, has been recently classified by the US military as “a nuclear power”.
Under its policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’, Israel has neither admitted nor denied possessing nuclear weapons. The US has nonetheless shielded Israel — which has an estimated 80 to 200 nuclear warheads — from condemnation in the past 40 years.
While Washington has never pressured Israel to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has lately been issuing calls for a “nuclear-free Middle East” — a region in which Israel is the only nuclear power.
US support for Israel is in line with an accord inked in Sept. 1969 between former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir and former US president Richard Nixon, according to recently exposed documents.
The so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” deal commits both the US and Israel never to acknowledge information pertinent to Israeli nukes in public.
In 1986, Israeli nuclear scientist Mordecai Vanunu disclosed in the Sunday Times of London photos and the first insider account of Israel’s primary nuclear facility in Dimona.
The revelation cost Vanunu 18 years in jail over treason charges and a travel ban that bars him from leaving Israel.
The United Arab Emirates has called for exhorting Israel– the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Mideast — to sign the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
UAE envoy to the UN Ahmed Al-Jarman said the long-running hope of creating a nuclear free Middle East would not come true unless Tel Aviv joins the nuclear pact and puts its nuclear program open to inspections.
Al-Jarman made the remarks ahead of the third session of the preparatory committee for the 2010 NPT review conference.
US assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller told the conference that all those who have refused to sing the treaty — including Israel — should join the nuclear pact.
However, Israel, which has an estimated 80 to 200 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, refused to heed to the Washington request and called the NPT ‘ineffective’.
In spite of being classified by the US military as “a nuclear power”, under its policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’, Israel has neither admitted nor denied possessing nuclear weapons.
Analysis by Yossi Melman
It is unclear whether the U.S. assistant secretary of state’s call to Israel to sign on to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty indicates a change in Washington’s policy toward Israel’s nuclear program, or even if the move was anticipated by the White House.
It is clear, however, that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The U.S. has been protecting Israel for years, creating a diplomatic umbrella and pushing away any attempt, in any international debate, to discuss the nuclear weapons the entire world believes Israel possesses. >>>