Kuwait urges int’l community to press Israel to join nuclear weapons treaty

Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission chief Moshe Edri criticized the Arab Group in the IAEA for its repeated attempts to “abuse” the forum to single out Israel for political reasons.

By Sharon Wrobel, The Algemeiner

Kuwait has again called on the global community to step up the pressure on Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and place its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“I would like to underscore the importance of Israel joining the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state and of Israel, subjecting of all its facilities to the comprehensive safeguards regime issued by the IAEA,” Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah said during a video broadcast as world leaders met at the general conference of the IAEA in Vienna last week.

Al-Sabeh made the comments as he told the UN nuclear watchdog that Kuwait is “fully committed to the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.”

Israel as a non-signatory to the NFT is believed to have a nuclear arsenal but neither confirms nor denies that it has nuclear weapons or armaments. Other countries which have not joined the treaty are Pakistan, and North Korea. The NFT is a voluntary international treaty, which seeks to contain and roll back the spread of nuclear weapons and fosters cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

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During a debate at the IAEA conference on Israel’s nuclear capacities, Kuwait’s ambassador to Austria, Talal Al-Fassam, echoed the same call for Israel join the NFT to allow IAEA inspectors to examine its nuclear facilities, according to a report by the Kuwait News Agency.

Speaking at the UN conference, Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission chief Brig. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Edri criticized the Arab Group in the IAEA for its repeated attempts to “abuse” the forum to single out Israel for political reasons.

“The agenda item entitled ‘Israeli Nuclear Capabilities,’ placed on the agenda year after year, is politically driven and contradicts the IAEA Statute and mandate,” Edri said. “This useless political act is in contradiction to the overall positive spirit in our region.”

“These acts, are bound to fail,” he asserted.

At the same time, Edri emphasized that the repeated threats by Iran and its proxies to target Israel’s nuclear facilities need to be taken seriously and updated the UN watchdog that Israel’s facilities are upgraded and reinforced to withstand any attack.

“Iran obtaining nuclear weapons is not an option that Israel, nor the world, can tolerate,” he cautioned.