Daily Israel Report
Show More

OpEds


Report: Egypt Asks UN to Pressure Israel on Nukes

A leaked document shows that Egypt is hoping to bring UN pressure to bear on Israel over alleged nuclear arms.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/22/2010, 9:54 PM / Last Update: 4/22/2010, 10:45 PM

Egyptian officials have been attempting to rally support in the United Nations for pressure on Israel over its alleged possession of nuclear arms. The attempt was revealed by the New York Sun, which obtained copies of a document circulated by Egypt among UN ambassadors.

The document includes possible resolutions for the planned 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In the document, Egypt recalls the UN's 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, which called to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.

Egypt wishes to see Israel relinquish any nuclear arms in its possession and to grant the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency access to all nuclear facilities. Egypt is also hoping to convince Western countries to reveal the details of any nuclear-related sales to Israel, in an attempt to deal a blow to Israel's current policy of nuclear ambiguity.

Nuke-free zone?
Among the suggested resolutions is one that “calls upon Israel to promptly accede to the [Nuclear Non-Proliferation] Treaty as soon as possible as a non-nuclear-weapons State and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards.”

Another suggests “the establishment of the nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.”

Egypt also aims to bring pressure to bear by barring sales that could boost Israel's nuclear facilities. The document suggests a Conference resolution that “reaffirms that any supply arrangements for the transfer of source or special fissionable material or equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material to Israel should require, as a necessary precondition, Israel’s accession to the Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon State and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards.”

The clause, if accepted, would bar the United States, Russia, China, and European states from selling equipment or materials to Israel that could be used in a nuclear facility.

Iran not mentioned
In addition, the document “requests States parties to disclose to in their national reports on the implementation of the resolution on the Middle East all information available to them on the nature and scope of Israeli nuclear facilities and activities, including information pertaining to previous nuclear transfers to Israel.”

The document does not mention any other country by name. Pakistan is a nuclear power that has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Iran is developing its nuclear capacity while ignoring international calls to allow oversight of its facilities.

The IAEA, suggested by Egypt to oversee Israel's nuclear facilities, was headed until recently by Mohammed ElBaradei, an Egyptian who is currently weighing the possibility of running for his country's presidency. ElBaradei recently expressed support for terrorism against Israel, stating that Israel “only understands the language of violence.”