Qatar has called for intensifying international efforts to subject all Israeli nuclear facilities to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and for Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The demand was put forward on Friday by the Chairman of Qatar’s National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons, Abdulaziz Salmeen al-Jabri, at the annual general conference of the IAEA currently underway in Vienna.
Jabri stressed these were legitimate demands that had been confirmed by “international legitimacy resolutions [that were passed] half a century ago,” including “resolutions of the UN General Assembly [that have been passed] since 1974, [United Nations] Security Council Resolutions 487 of 1981 and 687 of 1991, numerous IAEA resolutions, and the resolution of the Review Conference of the Middle East Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995.”
He also said that bringing the Israeli nuclear program under international safeguards “is a prerequisite for establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in [West Asia].”
“Confronting nuclear proliferation in [West Asia] is at the core of the tasks assigned to the IAEA,” he stressed.
Estimates of Israel’s nuclear stockpile range between 80 and 400 warheads, which can be delivered via aircraft, submarine-launched cruise missiles, and the Jericho series of intermediate to intercontinental-range ballistic missiles.
Its first deliverable nuclear weapon is thought to have been completed in late 1966 or early 1967, making it the sixth country in the world to have developed them.
Israel has never openly tested its nuclear weapons nor signed the NPT, making it the world’s only unacknowledged nuclear power.
“The boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran,” the late former US state secretary Colin Powell wrote in a 2015 leaked email to business partner and democratic donor Jeffrey Leeds just months before Washington sealed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran – also known as the Iran nuclear deal.
While Israel and its vast nuclear arsenal have never been subjected to IAEA oversight, over a quarter of the 2,000 inspections carried out worldwide by IAEA in the past three years were conducted in Iran.