The IAEA head is asking for international input on how to persuade Israel to join the Nonproliferation Treaty, in a move that is sure to add to pressure on country to disclose its unacknowledged nuclear arsenal.
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano has asked the watchdog’s 151 member states to share views on how to implement a resolution demanding that Israel "accede to the NPT" and open its nuclear facilities to inspections.
“It would be helpful to me if Your Excellency could inform me of any views that your government might have with respect to meeting the objectives of the resolution,” he wrote in a letter to the foreign ministers of IAEA member states.
However, Israel has objected to the letter. Tel Aviv says that the move is misdirected and the IAEA should instead focus on preventing NPT signatories like Iran from acquiring atomic weapons.
But Israel’s accusations are clearly baseless since IAEA inspectors have never found evidence of diversion in Iran’s nuclear program.
Amano’s letter, which was published on Wednesday May 6, comes seven months after IAEA member states passed a resolution in Vienna criticizing Israel’s nuclear program.
The resolution "expresses concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities," pointing out that they give rise to "concern about the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons for the security and stability of the Middle East."