International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammed ElBaradei said at the end of his meeting with Israeli Health Minister Dani Naveh on Wednesday that he would be happy if provided with the opportunity of visiting the Dimona nuclear reactor at any time.
Answering to whether he was disappointed to not be allowed to visit the reactor, ElBaradei said ‘so far Dimona reactor is not under the IAEA inspection’
The IAEA head explained that his mission was twofold; to promote the peaceful usage of nuclear energy and to insure that it is not misused.
‘All I want to discuss is how to improve the Middle East security and make it a Nuclear-clear zone’ ElBaradei said.
ElBaradei said his attempts to promote the idea of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East are faced with Israeli concern about Iran’s nuclear program and the alleged regional hostility to Israel.
As well, he added ‘The majority of the countries in the Middle East feel that there is this security imbalance in the Middle East, this double standard, where Israel has atomic weapons and other Middle East states do not.’
ElBaradei, who is schedule to meet Sharon on Thursday, did not see a soon solution to this stalemate.
IAEA Head: I Have No Power to Pressure Israel
ElBaradei said Tuesday that he has no power to pressure Israel on Nuclear issues.
ElBaradei arrived Tuesday in Israel for a two-day visit in which he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Health Minister Dan Naveh, and the head of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission.
‘I would like to see Israel supporting the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, I would like to see Israel sign an additional agreement committing it to disclose information on any potential nuclear-related exports, but I have no power to pressure’ ElBaradei said.
While realizing that there is no policy change in Israel regarding nuclear issues, according to his spokesman Mark Gwozdecky, ElBaradei is ‘welling to invest time attempting to make progress.’
Taking the occasion of ElBaradei arrival, Israel is expected to announce Wednesday a new national program for nuclear medicine that is expected to win financial and technical support from the IAEA.
In his meeting with the head of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, ElBaradei is expected to invite Israel to join an international conference under IAEA patronage to discuss the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. He is also expected to raise the idea of the IAEA sending inspectors to monitor Israel’s nuclear activities.
Israel strongly objects to any international inspections of its nuclear facility in Dimona.
The IAEA head will deliver Wednesday a speech at Hebrew University to a select audience of academics, government officials and press.
Israeli officials will raise the issue of Iran’s nuclear program and IAEA efforts to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Israeli nuclear Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who was released around two months ago after serving 18 years in prison for disclosing information over Dimona reactor, said Tuesday that Israel should make its reactor public.
‘The Israeli government should change its policy and open the reactor; they should stop cheating the world, stop cheating Israeli citizens and stop cheating the Arab citizens.’ Vanunu said.
Israel’s official policy is to not confirm or deny having nuclear weapons, insisting that nuclear disarmament in the region should come at the end of a successful peace process.
Egypt is leading efforts to anounce the region a nuclear-free zone, demanding for Israel to cooperate with IAEA.
Arab media sources expressed concerns that ElBaradei’s visit to Israel would be used as a good PR campaign to ease International pressure on israel concerning its nuclear weapons’ program.
no-Israeli reports indicates that Israel developed more than 200 nuclear war heads.