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  • » 09/20/2012, 00.00

    ISRAEL - IRAN

    Denuclearised Middle East: Israel's refusal, Iran's lies

    Joshua Lapide

    A conference on denuclearisation is set for Helsinki in late 2012. For Israel, it is premature due to the "volatile and hostile situation" in the area. Iran and the European Union hold "constructive" meeting, but Tehran has hidden its programme in the past. Israel is the only nuclear power in the region.

    Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - Israel expressed its strong opposition on Wednesday to an Arab initiative, supported by the Obama administration, to hold a conference that would debate the possibility of a nuclear-free Middle East. The conference would take place in Helsinki toward the end of 2012, or early in 2013.

    Brig Gen (Res) Shaul Horev, director of the Israeli Nuclear Energy Committee, said that the idea was premature due to the "volatile and hostile situation" in the area. Cited by Haaretz, Horev blames Syria and Iran for the region's difficult situation.

    Iran is creating a "hollow impression" that it intends to cooperate, but the international community's moves actually have had no effect on the Iranian nuclear plan.

    For Israel and many Western nations, Tehran is building nuclear and enrichment plants to build atomic weapons. Tehran claims that its programme is peaceful.

    Iran has pledged to keep its facilities open to the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but in the past, it has concealed some sites and tried to mislead inspections. At present, the two sides are a stalemate.

    This has pushed the United States and other countries, including the European Union, to toughen their sanctions against Iran.

    Iranian and European officials met in Istanbul recently. The EU said it was "useful and constructive".

    An EU spokesman said in a brief statement that it had been "a useful and constructive meeting and an important opportunity to stress once again to Iran the urgent need to make progress".

    At present, Israel is the only nuclear power in the region, although it has neither confirmed nor denied its nuclear status.

    Its nuclear programme began with French aid and is centred on the Dimona nuclear research facility, in the Negev Desert.

    In 1986, a nuclear technician at the plant, Mordechai Vanunu, provided details about Israel's nuclear programme.

    For this, he was arrested, tried and sentenced to 18 years in prison. After his release, he lives under important restrictions.

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    See also

    13/03/2009 RUSSIA – IRAN
    Iran “one or two years” from A-bomb, says Russian experts
    The head of a strategic arms research centre at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow says that once Iran gets a nuclear weapon it would be “untouchable” and could broaden its support for groups and movements like Hamas and Hizbollah. His statement contradicts his own government’s official position.

    15/07/2006 LEBANON – ISRAEL
    Crisis worsens in Lebanon; no agreement at G8

    Al-Hayat said Israel has given Syria three days to disarm Hezbollah and to free hostages: the alternative is war. The intervention of the pope has been highly appreciated and he has been described by militias as "a defender of human rights and a model of sanity".



    05/08/2008 IRAN
    Iran asks for “serious” talks on nuclear program, at the same time unveils new weapons
    Teheran boasts missile capable of targeting naval vessels 200 miles from its coast and threatens to shut off access to the Persian Gulf in the case of attack, provoking a grievous petrol crisis. Ahmadinejad reiterates “seriousness” in negotiations and seeks allies among his neighbours.

    08/08/2016 16:28:00 IRAN – ISRAEL
    Israel admits Tehran has respected the terms of the nuclear agreement

    Energy Minister Youval Steinitz confirmed that there were no "significant violations," but insisted that it was "too early" to say whether the (very bad) deal would be "a success”. Iran executed a scientist involved in the country’s atomic programme for treason. 



    02/09/2010 ISRAEL – IRAN
    Israel completes preparations for an attack against Iran
    In a note to Congress, US Defense Department reveals Israel bought huge amounts of fuel for jet planes and land forces. In Jerusalem, debate heats up over the suitability of an attack against Iran’s nuclear reactors. In Tehran meanwhile, leaders continue to favour nuclear energy because of US embargo on oil refining technology.



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