Saturday, Sept 19th, 2009
Iran is prepared to allocate a budget for a probe into Israel’s largely clandestine nuclear industry, Tehran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says.
Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh made the announcement in a statement delivered at the 53rd General Conference of the IAEA on Friday.
“In case the IAEA has limited financial resources for the inspection [of Israel’s nuclear facilities]… the Iranian government is prepared to allocate the budget for the sake of global peace and welfare.”
Calling Israel’s nuclear capabilities a “potential threat” to global security, Soltaniyeh also expressed “grave concern” over Tel Aviv’s refusal to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and thus denying the IAEA inspectors access to its atomic installations.
Israel, the world’s sixth largest nuclear weapons power, has not heeded international calls to join the NPT.
Soltaniyeh made the remarks on the same day the IAEA passed a non-binding resolution urging Israel to open its nuclear facilities to UN inspection and sign up to the NPT.
The resolution voiced concern about Israeli nuclear capabilities and called on Tel Aviv to renounce atomic weapons.
In its response, Israel “deplored” the resolution, saying it was aimed at “reinforcing political hostilities and division lines in the Middle East region.”
In a vote on September 17, the UN nuclear watchdog adopted a resolution urging all Middle East nations to renounce atomic bombs.
The non-binding resolution received a positive vote by nearly all Asian, Latin American, African and Islamic nations while Israel was the only one to vote no.
The United States, Canada, Georgia and India abstained.
This article was posted: Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 5:52 am