Middle East Peace / Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Vienna, 16 January 1995/K/JC/14653c-is

In a statement issued today, Dr. Hans Koechler, President of the International Progress Organization, called upon the United Nations Security Council to urge Israel to fully disclose its nuclear capabilities and to give access to inspectors of the IAEA to all its nuclear facilities.

Dr. Koechler explained that Israel's possession of huge quantities of nuclear arms (including nuclear warheads) constitutes the most serious threat to the security and the very survival of the populations in Arab and neighbouring Islamic states.

As history has shown, such a huge imbalance in terms of military capabilities -- where one side possesses everything and the other side is denied adequate means of military defence -- may well cause a new military conflict.

The President of the I.P.O. recalled that Israel long ago got secret access to American nuclear technology. Israel has destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor and, through the U.S. policy at the United Nations, has achieved an effective dismantling of the Iraqi nuclear programme. Israel now also threatens to destroy Iranian installations. At the same time, the newly appointed Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Amnon Shahak, is known for his view "that all necessary means are justified to prevent the nuclear capability of any Arab state." The Israeli Prime Minister recently has voiced a war threat against the Arab states. No Arab or Islamic state can be expected -- in the light of such statements --  to unconditionally agree to the prolongation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty which will expire later this year, Dr. Koechler added. The American "Defense Counterproliferation Initiative" (DCI) (as declared in 1993) is totally unrealistic and lacks credibility under such conditions of a gross military imbalance in the Middle East in favour of Israel.

The President of the I.P.O. further stated that the Israeli behaviour seriously undermines international legality and is incompatible with the imperatives of a policy of disarmament, peace and regional stability. He recalled Israel's continued policy of occupation and annexation of Arab land of which the extension of existing and the building of new settlements in Palestine is clear proof. In light of all these developments, there is no basis for genuine peace negotiations as long as the sovereignty and the right to self-defence are systematically denied to Palestine and to the other Arab states. It would be the duty of the U.N. Security Council to adopt effective enforcement measures vis--vis Israel so as to stop its policy of occupation, annexation and military threats against Arab and Islamic states and to effectively dismantle its installations for the production of arms of mass destruction.

If this cannot be achieved, the nuclear non-proliferation policy in the Middle East may well collapse with far-reaching consequences not only for stability in the region itself, but for international security in general, the President of the I.P.O. concluded.

END/IPO/Middle East Peace/NPT/1995-01-16/K/JC/14653c-is