30/09/2008 Israel slams fresh Arab move to isolate it at IAEA to fester over inaction regarding what is assumed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal in Israel, which critics say causes an imbalance of power and spurs adversaries in an unstable region to seek nuclear weaponry.
Israel, which has called the Arab move “substantially unwarranted and flawed”, filed a motion on Monday for it to be struck off the IAEA General Conference agenda.
The measure is expected to be considered later this week.
“Among sponsors of this draft resolution are states which openly do not recognize the state of Israel and even call for its annihilation,” Israel Atomic Energy Commission Director Shaul Chorev said, alluding to Iran.
“What is the moral standing of sponsors of this agenda item who do not recognize Israel’s right to exist while criticizing Israeli policies aiming at securing its very existence?”
Chorev said Israel, along with India and Pakistan outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, “possesses advanced nuclear expertise”.
But he said some countries had been developing atomic bomb capability despite being members of the NPT. He was alluding to Iran and Syria, the subjects of special IAEA investigations.
Iran and Syria both deny pursuing nuclear weapons or hiding any activity from IAEA non-proliferation inspectors.
Chorev said Israel had long backed a Middle East free of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction in principle. “But this cannot be advanced out of context. It can only emerge gradually from a process of mutual acceptance, reconciliation and lasting peace, followed by more confidence building measures and modest arms control measures.”
Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh condemned the “shameful silence” of Israel’s Western allies about its nuclear exclusivity and said this “left no doubt about the urgent need for reform in the United Nations”.