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Sunday, March 11, 2007

'Non-aligned' states try to make Israel's nukes the issue

You could see this coming.

The Iranian website Baztab is reporting that Iran, the Arab League and other 'non-aligned' nations (like Cuba) are trying to replace Iran with Israel in the defendant's dock in front of the IAEA. The gall is amazing:
Iran branded Israel "a uniquely grave threat" to world peace because of its alleged nuclear weapons Thursday, after the UN atomic agency sharply cut aid to Tehran because of its own atomic programme.

"Nuclear weapons in the hands of the Israeli regime with ... a long and dark catalogue of crimes and atrocity such as occupation, aggression, militarism, state terrorism, crimes against humanity and apartheid pose a uniquely grave threat to regional and international peace and security," Iranian ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh told the governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran and Arab states complain that it is unfair to scrutinize Tehran for allegedly developing nuclear weapons when Israel has them and is not under IAEA monitoring, as it has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). [Israel has also allegedly had nukes for forty years and has never used them nor threatened to use them. CiJ]


The board was debating Israel's nuclear programme after the Arab League expressed "deep concern and great disquiet" to the IAEA following remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in December that seemed to confirm that Israel has the bomb.

The letter to IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei, written by Oman on behalf of the Arab League, said "Arab States consider Israel's possession of military nuclear capabilities to be a clear violation of the will of the international community." [If it were up to the 'will of the international community,' all the Jews of Israel - at least - would have been thrown into the sea a long time ago. That an 'international organization' produces smut like this is disgusting. CiJ]

Soltanieh said lack of UN Security Council action against Israel's nuclear programme has "encouraged Israeli officials to make public statements in which they made threats to attack the safeguarded peaceful facilities of other countries," a clear reference to a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear plants. [Note that even the Iranian ambassador does not have the gall to claim that Israel threatened to actually use its purported nukes. CiJ]

Egyptian ambassador to the IAEA Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy said the purpose of initiating debate at the atomic agency was "to put the whole thing on record, that a statement was made and to remind that this is a serious issue that will not go away." [I bet it will if the Egyptians are threatened with losing their $2 billion per year in US aid. CiJ].

Some non-aligned states want to see IAEA technical aid to Israel cut, much as aid to Iran is being slashed, diplomats said. [What technical aid to Israel? I find it hard to believe there is any given that we have not signed the NPT. CiJ]

Israel is not subject to IAEA safeguards inspections.

Cuban ambassador Norma Estenoz, speaking for the Non-Aligned Movement, said NAM states on the board reiterated their "support for the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction."

Estenoz said the NAM "condemns Israel . . . for continuing to develop and stockpile nuclear arsenals."

She called on Israel "to accede to the NPT without delay, to place promptly all its nuclear facilities under (IAEA) full-scope safeguards . . . and to conduct its nuclear related activities in conformity with the non-proliferation regime."


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