(JNS.org) While Iran’s nuclear program forges
ahead, Arab diplomats from 18 nations plan to pressure Israel over its alleged
nuclear program at September’s International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA)
annual meeting at the United Nations.
The Negev Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, Israel. Credit: Space Imaging Middle East.
A letter the Arab diplomats addressed to IAEA
Director-General Yukiya Amano asked for “Israeli nuclear capabilities” to be
included on the agenda for the September gathering, according to the website of the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
Israel’s ambassador to the IAEA, Ehud Azoulay, called the
Arab initiative “counterproductive” and said it was aimed at “bashing Israel,” Reuters reported. Israel maintains a
policy of nuclear ambiguity over its program—believed to have been developed
during the 1960s—and is also the only country in the region that is not a
signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
But attempts by Arab states to pressure Israel over the nuclear
issue have failed in the past due to the efforts of the U.S. and other Western
allies, who see greater nuclear-related dangers in the region—namely, Iran’s
Last month, the IAEA’s
Amano said that Iran is continuing to make “steady progress” on its nuclear
program, despite economic sanctions by the West.
“There is a steady increase of capacity and
production [in Iran’s nuclear program],” Amano said. When asked about the
impact of sanctions, he said, “I don’t think so… I don’t see any impact.”