US must rein in Israel's nuclear arms

The surprise announcement by Rose Gottemoeller, a US assistant secretary of state, that America would like every nation – including Israel – to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) has sent shockwaves through Tel Aviv, confirming the fears (or hopes, depending on who you ask) that the Obama administration is initiating a major overhaul of its policy on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
The Israeli government will certainly challenge the Obama administration on this issue, as Israel is not likely to ­co-operate, to put it mildly, with the state department's new logical, fair-minded approach to non-proliferation.
It was none other than Avigdor ­Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, who declared – with a quite a bit of ­chutzpah – that the US government would adopt whatever policy Israel dictated. But Israelis should realise that the American president cannot be reduced to a puppet of the Israeli government[!!!].
Bearing in mind the possibility of an Israeli attack against Iran's nuclear facilities, it is critical that the US pursue a robust non-proliferation policy, and demand that all countries in the region sign and implement the NPT. This is the only way to prevent another war in the Middle East.
When Israeli leaders talk about halting the Iranian nuclear programme, it is a barely concealed threat of a military strike. Just last month, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz published an article by its senior commentator for military affairs calling for Israeli military action against the Iranian nuclear project. When the most liberal daily paper publishes such an article, alarm bells should start ringing.

No comments: