Tuesday, September 07, 2010

UN Atomic Agency Curtails Probe of Israel’s Nuclear Capability

Bloomberg Businessweek, September 3, 2010 By Jonathan Tirone

Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) — United Nations investigators, ordered to write a report about Israel’s atomic capabilities, said they couldn’t compile enough information to assess the extent of the country’s nuclear program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency released documents today showing a split between member countries who want more light shed on Israel’s nuclear work and others that say the Vienna-based organization doesn’t have the right to pry. The IAEA’s 151 members voted in September 2009 to have the agency review Israel’s program as part of an effort to create a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East.

Israel declined to cooperate with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano’s inquiry on “political and legal” grounds, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a July 26 letter among the 81 pages of documents, calling the probe “unjustified.” Amano asked Israel to consider signing the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty when he visited the country last month.

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