Qatar said on 12 June that all Israeli nuclear facilities should be made available for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect. Qatar’s Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and International Organisations in Vienna, Sultan bin Salmeen Al Mansouri, said Israel is the only state in the Middle East that refuses to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“Qatar strongly supports the rule of law in international relations, as a basic guarantee for creating a peaceful and stable international environment that enhances opportunities for sustainable development for all peoples,” Al Mansouri told the IAEA Board of Governors.
He added that “the goal of nuclear disarmament in accordance with international agreements and United Nations resolutions is one of the means to uphold the rule of law in international relations.” He called on Israel to cooperate with IAEA and open its nuclear facilities and atomic reactors to inspectors. In a statement, Qatar’s ministry of foreign affairs said Al Mansouri “urged the international community and its relevant institutions to support the goal of freeing the Middle East from nuclear weapons, and to take practical steps to achieve that goal, based on its legal and moral responsibility”.
Israel’s nuclear capabilities have been the subject of speculation since the 1960s, when it first started operating the Dimona nuclear reactor in the Negev desert. IAEA inspectors have never been permitted to inspect the Dimona site, although US inspectors were admitted between 1965 and 1969. Israel refuses to admit or deny that it is developing nuclear weapons. However, in 2003 various intelligence estimates put its stockpile at 100 to 200 nuclear warheads.