The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) says in its annual report that the Zionist regime could be in possession of up to 90 nuclear warheads. The watchdog says that true number could be higher as Israel does not comment on its nuclear capabilities.
Lest we forget, Israel hasn’t signed the 1968 non-proliferation treaty (NPT), and is widely assumed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal. Worse still, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never bothered to investigate Israel’s nukes and nuclear sites, either.
No wonder Sipri says the locations of the storage sites for Israel's warheads, "which are thought to be stored partially unassembled," are also unknown.
The political class in Washington, which has made clear that Iran is surrounded by “regimes with nuclear weapons, including the Israelis to the west,” continues to remain dumbstruck on Israeli nukes, too.
However, the new report serves as further evidence that the secrecy surrounding Israel’s nuclear weapons is now obsolete and fraying around the edges. It takes an effort to preserve the fiction that this is a secret. And no, this has nothing to do with geopolitics.
This obstacle of IAEA’s own making has long prevented negotiations over Israel’s weapons of mass destruction. While the world endlessly discusses other nations’ civilian nuclear programs, hardly anyone in the US or the UN Security Council - and the IAEA - ever bothers to mention Israel’s nuclear arsenal.
President Trump, like his predecessors, pretends that he doesn’t know anything about them. What sustains this pretense is the myth that America is locked into covering up Israeli nuclear bombs because of the 1969 agreement between President Richard Nixon and Israel’s Prime Minister Golda Meir. For Nixon, it was mainly about gaining Israeli support in the Cold War. Or so they claimed.
That Cold War is over and America has never bothered to bring up this topic at the IAEA anyhow. Washington has never been serious about global non-proliferation, but it just wants a world without nuclear arms - minus the US and Israel. And if the global community wants negotiations over global non-proliferation to work, it should begin by being candid and start implementing globally approved rules on disarmament.
The White House cannot expect NPT signers to take America seriously if they continue to corrupt on the non-proliferation regime by pretending they don’t know whether Israel has nuclear weapons. This self-serving taboo impedes discussions within Washington and Vienna.
This policy helps Israel maintain a distinctive military posture and threat in the Middle East. This is the same regime that refuses to sign the NPT, has reportedly deployed nuclear weapons on German submarines (paid for by the German government in clear violation of the NPT), and has even made clear that if Israel fails to exist, it will take everyone down the tubes with it through the use of nuclear weapons.
The Vienna-based IAEA in general and the US government and its European partners in particular must be honest about Israel’s nuclear arsenal and act on those facts – if universal adherence to the NPT remains a fundamental objective of the UN Security Council. It’s the logical entailment of seeking a world without weapons of mass destruction.
How could the world see the IAEA as a serious and impartial body when it continues to ask Iran - a member state that has gone under the largest number of man/days of inspections on its civilian nuclear program, while it also continues the voluntary implmenetation of the Additional Protocol to the NPT under a nuclear agreement that has had no merits for it - for more and more cooperation after allegations and demands by Israel and Washington, while it does not bother to even discuss inspection of Israel's atomic weapons program?
Together with the IAEA, they have a lot on their plates these days, especially during the ongoing virtual meeting of the Board of Governors in Vienna, where no one has had the guts but a handful of conscientious member states to bring up this pressing subject matter.
When that virtual meeting comes to a close, don’t expect any miracles to happen regarding Israel’s nukes. That real and present danger to world peace and stability is here to stay. We have all been warned.