Israel has never allowed international inspections of its nuclear facilities nor has it joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Kaveh Afrasiabi, and author and political scientist, from Boston, to further discuss the issue.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Why is it that we see a lot of talk as far as nuclear disarmament [is concerned] but not very many actions going towards that goal?
Well, this is a complex question that goes back to the NPT and some of the ambiguities in the NPT’s article pertaining to the obligation of the nuclear possessing states to disarm themselves, to take concrete, verifiable steps to gradually disarm themselves.
Unfortunately, because of the weight of these weapons for these states and national security considerations and the prestige that it confers upon them, we haven’t seen any tangible steps.
As a result of which, a lot of these arms control agreements, such as the latest ones between Russia and the United States, are not really disarmament agreements because as your program correctly stated, a lot of these warheads are put in the ‘idle’ category.
The agreements don’t call for the scrapping of even one nuclear warhead!
You have to add to the fact that these states have been modernizing their nuclear arsenals and have been putting money in the R&D programs and so forth. Those are invitations for building new warheads and adding up to the arsenals instead of the opposite direction of disarmament.
So, Mr. Afrasiabi, what does an agreement between Moscow and Washington, like you just pointed out, what exactly does it do? What is the point then of having these types of agreements?
They are of some value, of course, in terms of the quantity of reduction of the number of warheads that each state possesses as well as the delivery systems.
Nevertheless, the cap is still very high. The combined arsenal of the two countries is tantamount to some 80 percent of the overall global nuclear arsenal. They’re capable of destroying the planet many times over.
This has been misinterpreted particularly by Washington as a leap-frog towards disarmament, which it’s not. This is like a mask covering the real intention of these nuclear weapon-haves to maintain their status as an exclusive club while trying to deny other nations the right to posses them.
Even more important, these states such as the United States and their nuclear doctrines reserve their right to attack non-nuclear states by using their nuclear warheads. This is putting double-standards and hypocrisy to a whole different category.
[The other guest speaker,] Mr. Glenn[,] just talked about the Israelis and that situation involving the United States’ support for it. Parts of the international community now have put international sanctions and other pressure on Iran for what Tehran says is its peaceful pursuit of nuclear energy. Israel, which has nuclear weapons, is being given now its fourth German-made submarine which is capable of launching nuclear warheads. Why would this take place? If, really, the world, or so they say, want to go towards nuclear disarmament, why is an entity like Israel being encouraged and given the possibility of even having more nuclear weapons?
That’s an excellent question that I doubt the German leadership has any legitimate answer for because this policy of selling sea-based nuclear capable submarines to Israel puts the German government at odds with its own policy of export control with respect to nuclear weapons technology as well as its pronouncements on a nuclear-free Middle East and non-proliferation with respect to Iran, etc.
This is really extreme incoherence vis-à-vis the policy by a Western government that calls itself a pacifist and yet is fueling proliferation in a very volatile part of the world which is the Middle East today.
Of course, that will increase the security concerns and fears of Israel’s Arab neighbors and it will be an inducement to the proliferation tendencies in the region and beyond.
So the German government, as well as other Western governments that have supported Israel’s drive towards nuclearization, have really answered the questions put by the world community regarding this very important matter that risks the regions’ stability and peace on a long time basis.
How do you see Mr. Glenn’s comments? It’s something he said that should keep people awake at night when talking about the Israeli arsenal and how they have threatened to use it; but a lot of the people do not even realize that it exists because it is not talked about a whole lot.
If it is talked about, it’s usually brought about to be made that they would use it in defensive purposes only, of course, with their leaders saying the total opposite. What has to be done in order to wake up the world? As Mr. Glenn has said, we’re facing a very dangerous situation if these leaders of that entity are saying that they would take the whole world down with them if necessary. How do you see it?
There’ve been some feeble but, nevertheless, significant attempts at the United Nations as well as the IAEA to address the issue of Israel being outside the NPT, not allowing any access to the IAEA for example or inspection of its nuclear facilities.
The world community is only beginning now to exert some pressure on Israel and indirectly on the US and other Western governments on this particular subject. The conversation is growing louder and louder.
My impression is that the world’s attention to this subject is on the rise and is putting a lot of pressure on Israel. Israel’s counterstrategy has been to deflect attention from itself by focusing on Iran’s so-called nuclear threat, which is a non-existing fictional threat.
Nevertheless, it’s a functional threat as far as Israel is concerned because it puts Israel in the category of a potential victimized state that, in turn, allows it to arm itself with nuclear weapons and adopt an aggressive posture against Iran and other Muslim nations in the Middle East.
It serves a purpose for Israel to continually up the ante against Iran and level its false charges in part through its allies and pro-Israel pundits in the Western media as a result of which there’s insufficient attention paid to the threat imposed to world peace and stability by Israel’s clandestine nuclear arsenal and inordinate amount of attention on Iran’s civilian nuclear program which is under the IAEA’s scrutiny.