Seventeen Arab countries have presented the International Atomic Energy Agency with an initiative to probe into Israel’s secretive “nuclear capabilities.”
Reuters reports that the Arab states have called for the “Israeli Nuclear Capabilities” issue to be included in the agenda for next month’s IAEA conference, but there is still some doubt whether they will follow through with the proposed resolution or be dissuaded from it as in 2011.
According to the IAEA website, the Jordanian envoy to the IAEA submitted the initiative to the agency’s chief, Yukiya Amano, in June.
Israel has condemned the initiative, saying it will only deflect attention from Iran, which it claims is the real nuclear threat.
Iran denies Israeli allegations that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons and insists that it is committed to the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to which it is a signatory.
Israel has refused to become an NPT signatory, and while it is widely believed to be the only Middle Eastern country that possesses nuclear weapons, it has never openly admitted it.
The document filed with the agency’s preparatory committee states that Israel’s refusal to allow inspection of its nuclear facilities is putting the Middle East under nuclear threat and compromising peace in the region.
Jordan has accused Israel of hindering “all initiatives to free the region of the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction, and in particular of nuclear weapons.”
Jordan, Bahrain, UAE, Algeria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, Oman, and Mauritania all signed the document that was handed over to the IAEA, demanding a probe into “Israel’s nuclear capabilities.”