UN call on Israel to open its nuclear program is opposed by US

Israel/Palestine
on 15 Comments

Last month, four days after Iran announced that it planned to attend a high-profile meeting on the banning of WMD’s in the Middle East, the US backed out, saying that the “time is not opportune.”

But along with Russia and the UK, the U.S. was one of the key sponsors of the conference, set to take place in Helsinki, Finland, by the end of 2012. 189 member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty had agreed to attend, but not Israel. Now the meeting has been called off.

That is the backdrop behind the UN General Assembly’s approval of a resolution last week calling on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and open its nuclear program for inspection:

Time Magazine, UN Calls on Israel to Open Nuclear Facilities:

(UNITED NATIONS) — The U.N. General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and backing a high-level conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East which was just canceled.

All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the conference in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the United States announced on Nov. 23 that it wouldn’t take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran’s defiant stance on nonproliferation. Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel’s refusal to attend.

The resolution, approved Monday by a vote of 174-6 with 6 abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty “without further delay” and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those voting “no” were Israel, the U.S., Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.

Russia Today’s Paula Slier did a segment on the UNGA resolution, titled Nuclear Israel: The secret that is not, about efforts to “lift the veil surrounding Israel’s atomic program.” She interviewed IRmep‘s Grant Smith about recently-released FBI files (pdf) dubbed “Project Pinto” and Joseph Gelman, co-author of  Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan. Notice the fact that Freedom of Information Act releases by the US government do nothing to disguise Benjamin Netanyahu’s involvement:

Paula Slier:  Earlier this year, the FBI released these documents from a seven-year investigation which began in 1985.  They show how a network of front companies connected to the Israeli Defense Ministry smuggled nuclear triggers out of the United States to Israel.

Grant F. Smith, IRmep research director: What’s apparent in the documents is that the Israeli Ministry of Defense would place an order for prohibited items with an Israeli company called Heli Trading.  Heli Trading is where Benjamin Netanyahu worked and would meet with Richard Kelly Smyth when he visited Israel.  Then they would transfer the order to an organization called Milco in California to fulfill the order, violating the [Arms] Export Control Act, and shipping the triggers out of the United States.  

Paula Slier:  They called the operation “Project Pinto.” All of the allegations are based on Smyth’s testimony, and many have been surprised by their detail. 

Grant F. Smith: If you take a look at the documents, Netanyahu is definitely mentioned in the document.  And that’s what surprised us, because typically you get two types of [Freedom of Information Act} censors of this type of document.  Sometimes they’ll block off an entire page.  Sometimes they’ll just block off a name.  In this case, Netanyahu’s name is clearly stated in the documents. 

Paula Slier:  In the documents it is alleged that Netanyahu asked Milchan, the Hollywood producer, not to discuss the matter publicly.  In a written response to RT, the Israeli Foreign Ministry denied all allegations, which is hardly a surprise, as Tel Aviv’s official position is neither to confirm nor deny possession of nuclear arms.  Relatively few people have knowledge of the overall Israeli nuclear program, and there are few leaks.  The last time an Israeli insider leaked confidential information was way back in 1986.

Joseph Gelman: And that operation went on for many years and Israel successfully achieved the technologies and materials necessary to obtain the nuclear deterrent arsenal that it has today, probably the fifth largest arsenal in the world. 

Paula Slier:  On the other side of the story, aside from the leaked documents, Washington too is keeping quiet.  Israeli nuclear capabilities are some of the most guarded secrets the US government holds.  Far more secret, some would argue, than information it has about Iran.  But for the forseeable future,  the book on Israel’s nuclear secrets is closed.  Paula Slier, RT, Israel.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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15 Responses

  1. Philip Munger
    December 10, 2012, 4:16 pm

    Bibi should feel “WANTED” not “needed” in the USA:

    link to flickr.com

    • Les
      December 11, 2012, 10:11 am

      For being part of the Israel end of the ring that smuggled nuclear triggers from the US.

  2. pabelmont
    December 10, 2012, 4:31 pm

    Well, cannot get too het up about all that, that’s old stuff, it’s a done deal anyway — like the expulsions and non-readmittance of exiles after 1948-50. And the USA has changed its mind and — in effect — defanged its laws. I mean, among the great of the world — N-hu, Obama, Bush II, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Attilla the Hun, Genghis Khan, what’s a little lying, bloodshed, lawlessness? It’s almost necessary to become a member of the club. anyway. And as Tom Lehrer so correctly observed, “Nothing could be done because he was the Mayor’s son.”

    • NickJOCW
      December 11, 2012, 7:25 am

      What is important about old stuff is less the timing of the original events than the timing of the revelations. Singly these revelations may be ‘done deals’ but cumulatively their re-airing has considerable effect. Think Strauss Kahn, one chambermaid might have blown over but as ever more spicy past peccadilloes surfaced by the minute he lost his job, political career, reputation and rich wife. Here’s a not unrelated story in the Guardian today link to guardian.co.uk

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2012, 9:13 am

        that is a really interesting link nick.thank you.

      • NickJOCW
        December 11, 2012, 11:16 am

        Annie, If Mossad had any real evidence of Iranian nuclear perfidy they would have no need to fabricate it. Might the release of these documents with their extraordinary retention of Netanyahu’s name be in harmony with the orchestration of the European UN Palestinian vote? I mean, much more of this and the US could appear to have been the innocent victim of Israeli false trails that even fooled the IAEA.

      • piotr
        December 11, 2012, 11:49 am

        This “Matlab plot of destruction” was discussed at Tikun Olam. My opinion is that the plot is way too similar to good old Gaussian curve to originate from running a simulation, unless you simulate (like in malingering) making a simulation (which should be running something like finite element method program for hours at high performance computers). It was already commented that the labels on x-axis and two y-axes did not match, but I also think that the process should not be symmetric in time because the phenomena of starting and ending the nuclear reaction are totally different. In Guardian an unnamed IEAE official claimed that they also had a spreadsheet for the plot. Well, for me making a spreadsheet would take 10 minutes (5 minutes? I am a slow person ), making the plot would require following some instructions (how to label two vertical sides of the plot), you have to navigate through some menues and it can be frustrating.

  3. Kathleen
    December 10, 2012, 10:04 pm

    Great post Annie. Glenn Greenwald covered this issue on Dec 4th over at the Guardian ” The US and Israel: a short quiz on rogue nation status” Glenn covers how this meeting on non proliferation was cancelled because the US and Israel said no no no. How telling Iran wanted to attend to talk about these issues but not Israel the nation who refuses to sign the agreement that they demand their neighbors abide by.

    This story sure did not get any MSM attention. Link this and Glenn’s piece around

    • Annie Robbins
      December 10, 2012, 11:08 pm

      thanks kathleen. i haven’t had a chance to read glenn’s article but this has been on my radar since last month (check the first link..it’s from nov 10th). it’s sort of funny, the US claimed they had already decided not to participate they just didn’t happen to say anything til after iran announced they were going. the UN went into gear after that. this conference has been in the works since 2010.

      anyway..i kept meaning to write something and when i saw grant’s video last week i thought i would combine my notes because i know there are lots of people who are not following all the great work he does over at IRmep. MW covered the release of this batch of fbi files last summer but it’s still worth repeating and a good interview. grant is bugging the fbi for more files (he’s relentless!)….so the plot will be thickening in the near future (i think). as always, thanks for reading. i’ll gotry to dig up glenn’s article. so much news, so little time!

    • Nevada Ned
      December 11, 2012, 10:39 am

      Kathleen, Time magazine is part of the MSM, and they covered the story:

      UN Calls on Israel to Open Nuclear Facilities

      (see link above).
      Of course the MSM isn’t as critical of Israel (and the US!) as Mondoweiss, but Time didn’t totally ignore the story.

      • Kathleen
        December 11, 2012, 2:01 pm

        Yep they are the MSM. Great that they covered this.

  4. Accentitude
    December 11, 2012, 6:18 am

    Israel reeks with hypocrisy through and through. Iran is atleast willing to discuss its nuclear program with the world body to resolve the speculation about its nuclear arsenal which it maintains is for peaceful energy purposes. I won’t say whether that’s true or not; it’s not for me to say, but atleast they giving us something to work with to avoid yet another catastrophic war which could upset the entire region. Meanwhile, Israel, America’s “greatest ally” which continues to spy, steal, break international laws, and commit war crimes not only against Palestinians but against the United States and the world at large refuses to sign the NPT, allow UN monitors, and reveal its nuclear program…with American support, again, whom it lies to, steals from, and spies on constantly. And we’re supposed to believe Netanyahu that Iran is a global threat when all evidence points to Israel being a far GREATER threat? Ha. Israel in its 65 years of existence has killed more lives and started more wars than any other modern nation. I think its time for Israel to put up or shut up.

  5. talknic
    December 11, 2012, 9:56 am

    What? No one been along to say Israel has never threatened to use its nukies? A statement, like all Hasbara, that defies logic.

    Just having Nukies is a threat to use them. Otherwise there is no point in having ‘em.

    • Kathleen
      December 11, 2012, 2:03 pm

      Norman Finkelstein, Former IAEA weapons inspector Scott Ritter, Former President Jimmy Carter and former security adviser Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinksi have all talked about the possibility of Israel using their nukes. That no one wants to talk about this.

      • Citizen
        December 12, 2012, 11:48 am

        Brzezinksi is also on record detailing with expertise why its in America’s best interests to be a pal of Iran, not Israel. Americans are being taken for a Zionist ride, and they don’t even know it thanks to the power of hasbara-riddled mainstream US media and our WH & Congress bribed by AIPAC’s network.

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