Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari slammed the Western world for providing Israel with nuclear technology and allowing it to ignore non-proliferation international conventions, in a Friday address at the General Assembly.
“The West is responsible for supplying nuclear technology to Israel… They are causing the entire world to turn a blind eye to Israel’s position on the nuclear issue,” Jaafari said, noting Israel’s recent purchase of nuclear submarines from Germany.
The ambassador asserted that “the war on nuclear weapons is one of the most important battles today in the world” and boasted that Syria had been one of the first countries to sign the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
The Assad regime has repeatedly used chemical weapons, including against its own people, in the course of the ongoing Syrian civil war, the UN has confirmed.
Jaafari panned what he referred to as the West’s disingenuous commitment to a nuclear-free Middle East, citing US resistance to Syria’s 2003 UN resolution calling for non-proliferation in the region.
He added that Israel’s alleged refusal to cooperate with the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency “undermines the credibility of the international treaty and stability in the entire Middle East.”
Israel is believed by foreign governments and media to be the Middle East’s sole nuclear power, but has long refused to confirm or deny that it has nuclear weapons, saying that its plant in Dimona in the southern Negev desert officially focuses on research and energy provision.
The Jewish state maintains a policy of so-called nuclear ambiguity, neither publicly confirming nor denying the existence of an atomic arsenal.
Israel has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to allow international surveillance of its Dimona plant.