Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Iran challenges UN on Israel's nukes

When Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made his little slip of the tongue in a television interview, asking rhetorically if Iran having nuclear weapons was the same as "America, France, Israel and Russia" having them, he inadvertently admitted that Israel had the bomb. This was widely suspected for years, but Olmert's gaffe was the first time an Israeli leader had owned up. He hastily backtracked but it was too little, too late. Israel's nuclear cat was out of the bag.

Now Iran, not surprisingly, has jumped on it. In a letter to the Security Council, Iran has called on the UN to compel Israel to give up its nuclear arms. Iran's UN ambassador declared the council should, "compel it [Israel] to abandon nuclear weapons, urge it to accede to the NPT [nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] without delay and demand this regime to place promptly all its nuclear facilities under IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] full-scope safeguards."

The action comes as the Security Council debates sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program which, according to its critics, is aimed at producing weapons. A signatory of the NPT, Iran insists its program is designed only to produce electricity. Israel has never signed the NPT.

Tricky business. How does the West punish Iran for maybe trying to develop nukes but not Israel which now admits to possessing them? The Middle East sometimes seems a hotbed of double standards.


Post a Comment

<< Home