After the five permanent members of the UN Security Council endorsed the idea of a re-energized attempt to implement the 1995 initiative to create a nuclear free Middle East – understandably raising questions about Israel’s nuclear arsenal – the world seems to suddenly be paying a little more attention to the Israel’s nuclear capabilities.
[tweetmeme] Though the US – like Israel – only supports a ban on nuclear weapons in the region in concert with a comprehensive regional peace agreement, US rhetorical support for the Egyptian initiative has raised questions of whether the recent rift between Israel and the US would stray into the nuclear realm; though it seems that the US is content to continue its policy of knowing, but not commenting.
Predictably, Israel will make no effort to implement the ban on nuclear weapons, as it continues to neither confirm or deny its nuclear program. The Israeli hesitance to unilaterally move on their nuclear capabilities is hardly surprising (I would act the same way) considering the threats that the state still faces today – particularly the possibility of a nuclear Iran. It is important to note, though, that Iran is a signatory of the NPT and Israel is not.
The IAEA now reportedly has its eyes on Israel. Apparently, Israel’s nuclear arsenal (rumored to be around 300 missiles) is eighth on the docket for the IAEA’s board meeting on June 7. Of course, the meeting is only talk and no action, but it would be the first time in 53 years that Israel would be discussed by the committee.
Strong opposition by the US or other Israeli allies could force the IAEA to cut Israel from the scheduled topics before the meeting.
Photo from Israj