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Qatar Calls for Israel to be Placed Under International Atomic Energy Agency Safeguards

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Qatar has called for Israel to be placed under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. It has suggested that Israel join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear state, reflecting concerns over Israel's potential nuclear arms capabilities. The call was made at the annual general conference of the IAEA, held in Vienna. Dr. Abdulaziz Salmeen Al Jabri, Chairman of the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons, delivered the statement on behalf of Qatar.

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Qatar's Stance on Israel's Nuclear Facilities

Speaking at the IAEA conference, Dr. Al Jabri explained that the demand for Israel to come under the IAEA's safeguards was in line with international legitimacy resolutions passed half a century ago. These include resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) since 1974, Security Council Resolutions 487 of 1981 and 687 of 1991, various IAEA resolutions, and the resolution of the Review Conference of the Middle East Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995.

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Dr. Al Jabri emphasized that confronting nuclear proliferation in the Middle East is a core task assigned to the IAEA. The agency plays a vital role in establishing a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East and applying comprehensive safeguards to all nuclear activities in the region. The IAEA Director-General has been mandated to hold consultations with regional countries, facilitating the early application of full-scale IAEA safeguards to all nuclear activities, a necessary step towards establishing a nuclear weapon-free zone.

Israel's Nuclear Capabilities: A Point of Contention

Israel's nuclear capabilities have long been a subject of international contention. It is believed to possess between 200 to 400 nuclear warheads, making it a formidable nuclear power in the Middle East. However, Israel has consistently refused to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities or to sign the NPT. This refusal has raised concerns among the international community and has been a major roadblock in the pursuit of a nuclear weapon-free Middle East.

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Israel's continued resistance to international calls for transparency on its nuclear capabilities poses serious questions about its commitment to regional peace. Its refusal to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities or to join the NPT undermines international efforts to establish a nuclear weapon-free Middle East, potentially setting a dangerous precedent for other nations in the region.

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Establishing a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East

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The idea of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East is not new. It has been supported by numerous international resolutions and is seen as a critical step towards ensuring regional stability and peace. The Qatari representative asserted that Israel's willingness to submit its nuclear facilities to IAEA safeguards and join the NPT would be a significant move in this direction. It would not only align with international law but also pave the way for other Middle Eastern nations to follow suit.

Implications of Israel's Non-compliance

Israel's continued non-compliance with international demands for transparency on its nuclear capabilities has far-reaching implications. It undermines the efforts to establish a nuclear weapon-free Middle East and creates a dangerous precedent for other nations in the region. It could potentially fuel a nuclear arms race, further destabilizing the region.

Qatar's call at the IAEA conference signals the urgency of the issue. It underscores the need for Israel to comply with international resolutions, embrace transparency, and contribute to the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free Middle East.

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