Press TV has interviewed Richard Becker, with the ANSWER Coalition, about the recent remarks made by Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency describing Israel’s nuclear weapons as a threat to global peace and security.
What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Reza Najafi says that Israel, with its atomic weapons arsenal, is a threat to regional peace in the Middle East. What does he mean?
Becker: Well, clearly Israel is a threat and Israel is, as you said, the only state in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons.
There are of course US nuclear weapons deployed in the region and submarines and other forms of weaponry, but Israel is the only country in the region that has it and Israel has a long history going back to the beginning of the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 of invading other countries.
So in 1956, in 1967, in 1982, in 2006… There has been a long history of invasion and occupation by the state of Israel. And in the 1973 war, Israel loaded nuclear weapons and rockets and prepared to use them against Syria and against Egypt.
So, it is a very dangerous situation, Israel having those weapons. And it is highly ironic that after all we have heard about Iran’s so-called nuclear weapon program, so little is heard in the United States about the danger that Israel, the only state that actually possesses such weapons, poses to the region and to the world.
Press TV: That leads me to my next question. Thanks. Why is it that Israel’s Western allies do not pressure Israel at all to at least sign up to NPT or to some kind of regulatory board or some kind of oversight board? They are just loosely allowed to have this arsenal in a clandestine manner. Why?
Becker: I actually wrote a book in 2009 called “Palestine, Israel and the US Empire,” and a basic thesis of it is that Israel is an extension of US military power in the Middle East.
From the Pentagon’s point of view, it is a giant military base. All the talk about sympathy for Israel and for Jewish people that we hear from leaders in the United States is really a lot of… just propaganda and PR talk. The reality is that Israel is part of the US Empire and it is an essential part of it.
Regardless of the disputes that happen between US and Israeli leaders at different times, the bottom-line reality is that Israel is that extension of US military power and that is why so little critical is said of Israel in the US mass media.
Press TV: And why does Israel need a nuclear weapon anyway, sir?
Becker: Well, it wants to be the dominant power in the region. That is what has underlined the whole opposition to any kind of a nuclear arrangement between Iran and the United Sates and the European powers.
It is not that Israel really believed that Iran was about to have a nuclear weapon; it is that they were fearful that their relationship with the United States and with the big powers would change and would be diminished.
In every regard, in every way possible, Israel wants to be the dominant power and that includes being the sole... weapons power.