|Southwest Asia News Digest
UN Perm-5 Support 1995 Resolution for WMD-Free Middle East
May 5 (EIRNS)On May 5, Anatoly I. Antonov, Director of the Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, delivered a statement on behalf of the Permanent Members of the UN Security CouncilChina, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United Statesto the 2010 conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which supported the resolution for a nuclear-free Middle East.
The statement reads: "We are committed to a full implementation of the 1995 NPT resolution on the Middle East and we support all ongoing efforts to this end. We are ready to consider all relevant proposals in the course of the Review Conference in order to come to an agreed decision aimed at taking concrete steps in this direction."
IAEA and Turkey Attempt Measures Against Drive for Iran War
May 8 (EIRNS)As the British Empire continues its drive for a military attack against Iran using Israel, two initiativesone by Turkey, and another by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)are an attempt to stop the countdown for war.
On May 7, during an official visit to Turkey, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that Iran would be willing to participate in talks, proposed by Turkey, between the European Union and Iran on Iran's nuclear program. Mottaki made the statement after meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. A day later, on May 8, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad supported this initiative, meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Istanbul. The proposed talks would be in Turkey.
Davutoglu is an ardent supporter of nuclear energy for developing countries, and spoke in favor of a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, at the Middle East panel at the February 2010 Munich Global Security ("Wehrkunde") conference in Germany.
With the Nuclear Free Zone (NFZ) proposal taking headlines at the UN conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a move by the IAEA to put the NFZ issue on the agenda at its June 7 board meeting, is being described as an attempt to counter Israel's military threats against Iran. Associated Press reported on May 8, that in a copy of the "restricted provisional agenda" of the IAEA, the issue of "Israeli nuclear capabilities" is included as the eighth agenda item. This is the first time in its 52 years of existence that the IAEA has addressed Israel's undeclared and secret nuclear arsenal. AP reports that a letter signed by 18 Arab countries that belong to the IAEA requested that this question of Israel be taken up.
IAEA Chief Amano Asks Member Countries for Input on Israel and NPT
May 10 (EIRNS)The backdrop to the listing of Israel's nuclear capabilities on the agenda of the June 2010 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting, is a longstanding decision by the IAEA member countries to support a nuclear-free Middle East, as endorsed by the conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1995.
This commitment was reiterated by IAEA chief Yukiya Amano on May 3, in his opening statement to this year's NPT meeting. "I would like to recall that the IAEA General Conference has adopted resolutions in recent years on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East," Amano said. "Last year's General Conference also adopted a resolution on Israel's nuclear capabilities. I am following up on these resolutions as requested by the General Conference."
Even earlier, Amano, on April 7, sent a letter to the foreign ministers of the IAEA countries requesting their input and views on the matter of Israel. The letter was obtained by Associated Press, and made public in a May 5 wire story.
Amano reportedly referred in his letter to the resolution on Israeli nuclear capabilities that was adopted by the 53rd regular session of the General Conference on Sept. 18, 2009. That resolution states that the IAEA General Conference "[e]xpresses concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities, and calls upon Israel to accede to the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards." The 2009 resolution also requires the IAEA chief to report on the status of that resolution at the 2010 meeting, which is scheduled to take place in June.