IAEC Director Ze’ev Senir told participants at the 60th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Wednesday that the challenge of nuclear security is of “paramount significance” to Israel “due to the somber reality in the Middle East.”
Senir underlined Israel’s hope that her Arab neighbors, as well as other countries around the world, will begin to collaborate in the effort to combat “nuclear terrorism.”
He emphasized that Israel “continues to follow IAEA guidance regarding the security of nuclear facilities and the protection of nuclear materials. Israel enforces regulations in line with the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and its amendment.”
Israel has even submitted a report on its national legislative implementation of the Convention, he said. “Israel upholds the highest standard of physical protection measures in its nuclear centers. Advanced security means and procedures are employed in domestic and international transport, as well as import and export processes. Such measures are undertaken in accordance with Israel’s international obligations, and in accordance with our national legislation.”
But for all of that, he said, Israel cannot control the threat of nuclear terrorism beyond her borders — in particular, the current threat to the north.
“Instability in the Middle East has recently been worsened by the presence, and violent activity of non-state actors, supported and funded by countries such as Syria and Iran.
“The access of non-state actors to materials which may be used for non-conventional weapons, combined with the motivation to conduct large-scale acts of violence, present a clear and undeniable threat to global nuclear security,” he said.
“As head of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, I call upon my Arabb colleagues to join forces in professionally addressing this severe challenge.”
Senir also raised the ongoing issue of the existential threat posed by Iran.
“When discussing the instability of our region, we cannot overlook the ongoing concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
“Despite the recent agreement, Iran continues to be a destabilizing force in the Middle East. Its support of terrorist groups and its long-range ballistic missile programs present a real and increasing threat.
“At the same time, we must address Iran’s blatant concealment and duplicity, as demonstrated in their well-known weaponization activities.
“Iran’s commitment to the JCPOA must be evaluation with a long-term perspective, which must include its adherence to its international obligations, as well as transparency in its actions.
“I remind you that in its recent words and deeds, Iran continues to threaten Israel directly and via proxy organizations, such as Hezsbbollah.”Hana Levi Julian