Wednesday, 15 January, 2020

Israel and New NPT Challenges

By: Moaf

Israel to attend non-proliferation meeting for the first time in last 20 years; The Iran FM, Mohammad Javad Zarif at opening of conference said: ‘Israel is the single [worst] violator of this international regime [the NPT].’ Is Iran trying to renew international pressure on Israel to sign the treaty and expose its nuclear capabilities? (1)

In 26 Sep 2013, Hours ahead of a planned meeting between Iran and major powers, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the General Assembly that use of nuclear weapons is a “crime against humanity” and called on Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Rouhani said that “Israel, the only non-party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty in this region, should join thereto without any further delay,” according to AFP. He added that “accordingly, all nuclear activities in the region should be subject to the IAEA comprehensive safeguards.”

As Haaretz readers asked: Why is Israel’s purported nuclear arsenal not being discussed at the same time as the Iranian nuclear program? The answer was: “Unlike Iran Israel is a democracy that never threatened to wipe another country of the map. The combination of Iranian violations of the NPT and threats to annihilate other countries such as Israel is a good reason to scrutinize Tehran’s nuclear program. By the way – Israel’s nuclear program is being discussed both in IAEA conferences and UN general assembly resolutions that are being brought up to a vote by the Arab league and Egypt. In the last few years those resolutions did not pass due to their highly politicized nature. Israel is part of the diplomatic process being led by Finland to convene nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. This process is not making any progress mainly because the Arab states involved try time and again to politicize this process and use it to isolate Israel.” (2)

The “Wiping Israel from the Map”

First I should explain briefly about the controversial issue of “wiping Israel from the map”. While the phrase is used by Iranian Ideological leaders as an “Ideal, wanted situation, or an Ideological mostly non-applicable phenomena”, the western media spread it as an “Iranian political strategy” and use it to frame Iran as an International threat. The fact is that this Iranian approach is against the Israeli Ideology of the “Great Israel” or the “Promised Land”. Based on Wikipedia:

“The Bible contains three geographical definitions of the Land of Israel. The first, found in Genesis 15:18–21, seems to define the land that was given to all of the children of Abraham, including Ishmael, Zimran, Jokshan, Midian, etc. It describes a large territory, “from the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates”, comprising all of modern-day Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq, as well as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Oman, Yemen, most of Turkey, and all the land east of the Nile river.” (3)

The irredentist ideology was eventually exacerbated by Zionists regime, which used it as an ideological mask for its expansionist policy in Palestine.

David Brickner sees the occupation of Palestine in 1948 and Jerusalem in 1967 as the fulfilment of the promises made to Abraham and the Patriarchs:

“I believe the modern day state of Israel is a miracle of God and a fulfilment of Bible prophecy. Jesus clearly said that “Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles until the time of the nations is fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). It has been 50 years since the founding of that state, but only 30 years since Jerusalem came under the control of Jews for the first time since Jesus made that prediction. Could it be that “this generation shall not pass until all these things are fulfilled?” (4)

While Israel has clear plans for expansion of her territory by killing Palestinians based on their “Nile to Euphrates” strategy, Iranians had never planned an attack against Israel or any other country. In fact, the “wiping Israel from the map” is an Ideology which refers to an Islamic thought that says “God will never let the Jewish Zionists succeed to own a normal territory or land”. Iran may had helped Lebanon and Gaza people against Israeli attacks but invading Israel had never been a plan. Also the Iranian influence in Lebanon is a response to Israeli influence in Azerbaijan. It can be said that Iran-Israeli relation is based on a Tit-for-Tat political game and nothing more. So the “Iranian International threat” is technically baseless.

The Nuclear Israel issue

Israel is one of three nations not to have signed the NPT (others are India and Pakistan, both of which have acknowledged having nuclear weapons.), and alongside North Korea which left the NPT. When the United States intelligence community discovered the purpose of Israeli Dimona reactor site in the early 1960s, the U.S. government demanded that Israel agree to international inspections. Israel agreed, but on the condition that U.S., rather than International Atomic Energy Agency, inspectors be used, and that Israel would receive advance notice of all inspections. The inspectors eventually informed the U.S. government that their inspections were useless, due to Israeli restrictions on what areas of the facility they could inspect. By 1969 the U.S. and later the world, widely believed that Israel has nuclear weapons and to be the sixth country in the world to have developed them, having built its first nuclear weapon in December 1966. (5) The inspections were terminated in 1969.

The Negev Nuclear Research Center is an Israeli nuclear installation located in the Negev desert, about thirteen kilometers to the south-east of city of Dimona. The purpose of Dimona is believed to be manufacture of nuclear weapons. (6) Israel acknowledges the existence of the site, but refuses to disclose any information about its purpose in a policy known as “nuclear ambiguity”. Information about the facility remains highly classified.

Mordechai Vanunu, sometimes known as John Crossman, a former Israeli nuclear technician, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. “The Times” reported that Israel had material for approximately 20 hydrogen bombs and 200 fission bombs.

Israel and a return towards NPT? The old and the new story.

The advent of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) set the stage for the most direct confrontation between the United States and Israel over the nuclear issue during the Johnson-Eshkol period. The two had crafted the nuclear issue with political ambiguity, and the NPT threatened to shatter that ambiguity. It forced Israel to take a position on issue on which it preferred to be ambiguous.

For U.S. non-proliferation policy, Israel’s signature on the NPT was an important objective. It meant that Israel renounced its nuclear weapons option. Israel however could not sign the treaty because of this implication. However declassifications of “Phantom negotiations” and the deal between U.S. and Israel shows that Rabin provided some assurances on the nuclear issue and reiterated the “non-introduction” pledge that Israel had used since 1965 (not to be the first nation to claim Nukes in Middle East); Israel also agreed not to use any aircraft supplied by the United States as a nuclear weapon carrier. (U.S. sold 50 Phantom air crafts to Israel as the part of agreement) (7)

The documents from NSA archive show that Israel had concerns about Arab nations at that time and tend to show self-superiority in case of their threat. U.S. officials tried to understand Israeli situation, however, they needed an effective NPT and a worldwide direct approach about U.S. apprehensions about Israeli Nuclear Weapons.

It should be noted that France was that one who supported Israel achieve ballistic missiles technology as well as nuclear technology. (8) It seems that Israel made a winning deal considering next events. Israel made a successful move having France as the U.S. ally by her side. U.S. clearly told the Israeli government that U.S. has the right to cancel all her commitments under unusual and compelling circumstances as the interest of the nation requires it.

But today roles are changed regarding Arabs’, French, Israel’s and others such as Pakistan, India and Iran. Iran owns a semi-local nuclear technology and as a nation and power is confronting Israel politically. Iran is negotiating to reach a deal with the U.S.

Iran has signed the NPT and had cooperated with IAEA inspectors. Iran’s situation is more political. Iran would be too powerful achieving nuclear energy resources besides oil. The Iranian nuclear threat is a bluster, a tit for tat game resulted from U.S. and Iranian conservatives’ fights. In fact the Iranian Nuclear technology is peaceful, at least till now, and IAEA and the world knows this. This is why Israel should be concerned according to her experience of deal with U.S. Somehow it is obvious that a deal between U.S. and Iran would be far easier than Israel and U.S. agreement.

Now Israel presence and attendance to non-proliferation meeting after 20 years can be measured from different aspects. It might be a start for new regional framework of balance of power. They might include scenarios such as

  • Israel may got under U.S. pressure again to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons cause of necessity of a deal between U.S. and Iran. In this scenario Iran as the second nation with nuclear technology in the region would be what Israel needs to claim its nuclear bombs openly based on the 1969 deal. Forcing Israel to join NPT will provide a balance of power in the region also mentioning destabilization of Arab nations. This will result a control of U.S. over the abnormal nation of Israel after years.
  • Also Israel may had felt danger and tries to normalize its nuclear situation for a later condition which could provide Arab countries, as Iranian rivals, with Nuclear weapons. (Arab-Israeli ties are complicated and vague enough to be discussed here)

What is sometimes claimed as Iran to use NPT conference to put international pressure on Israel has a different shape. According to above, a new International pressure on Israel to force it joining NPT might technically be result of a nuclear deal of P5+1 with Iran as the second nuclear technology owner in Middle-East. Israel’s apprehensions will greatly increase with an Iran and P5+1 deal, however, Iran is unexpected to claim production of a nuclear weapon with or without a deal. In point of fact, a scenario without a plan to attack Iran will put Israel in an ambiguity similar to the strategy which they define as their own nuclear policy.

References

  1. Ravid, Barak. Iran aims to use NPT conference to renew international pressure on Israel . [Online] April 28, 2015. [Cited: April 2015, 28.] http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.653836.
  2. Haaretz. Q&A: What next for the Iranian nuclear agreement? - Diplomacy and Defense - Israel News | Haaretz:. [Online] April 7, 2015. [Cited: April 26, 2015.] http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.650681.
  3. Wikipedia. Greater Israel. [Online] Jan 2015. [Cited: April 26, 2015.] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Israel.
  4. Sizer, Stephen. The Promised Land - From the Nile to the Euphrates. www.christianzionism.org. [Online] http://www.christianzionism.org/BibleSays/Sizer04.pdf.
  5. ElBaradei, Mohamed. Transcript of the Director General’s Interview with Al-Ahram News. s.l. : International Atomic Energy Agency., July 7, 2004.
  6. Burr, William and Cohen, Avner. “Israel’s Quest for Yellowcake: The Secret Argentina-Israel Connection, 1963-1966”. [Online] 2013. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/israels-quest-for-yellowcake-the-secret-argentina-israel-connection-1963-1966.
  7. Rabin, Y. Letter from Rabin to Warnke. [Online] Nov 22, 1968. http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/israel/documents/battle/14-01.htm.
  8. Cohen, Avner. Israel and the Bomb. s.l. : Colombia University Press, 1999.

Additional information:

Future of Mordechai Vanunu

Mordechai Vanunu was subsequently lured to Italy by a Mossad agent, where he was drugged and abducted by Israeli intelligence agents and transported to Israel and ultimately convicted in a trial that was held 18 years behind closed doors. Released from prison in 2004, he became subject to a broad array of restrictions on his speech and movement. Since then he has been arrested several times for violations of those restrictions, including giving various interviews to foreign journalists and attempting to leave Israel. He says he suffered “cruel and barbaric treatment” at the hands of Israeli authorities while imprisoned, and suggests that his treatment would have been different if he had not converted to Christianity from Judaism.

Full NSA Archives:

“The Battle over the NPT: The Warnke-Rabin Dialogue” can be retrieved from link below: http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/israel/documents/battle/

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