In a Press Release dated 12 May 2018, the Israel Institute’s director, Dr David Cumin, welcomed US President Trump’s reckless and destabilising decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of world powers. The Institute’s Press Release went so far as to claim, without a shred of proof, that “Recent Israeli intelligence shows that Iran is actively working to secure a nuclear warhead”.
Our Government should ignore Cumin’s appeal for New Zealand to support what he called “actions that will prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons”. Iran is not in the least interested in acquiring nuclear weapons and claims to the contrary have been proved baseless. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on 8 May, reminded the world that Iran was keeping to its ‘nuclear-related commitments’ and that “Iran is subject to the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime”. Discrediting assertions by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the IAEA emphasised that there were “no credible indications” to support claims that Iran was continuing its “co-ordinated” nuclear weapons programme after 2009.
The misleading Trump/Netanyahu rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear energy programme is similar in tone to the propaganda that preceded an Israeli air strike on Iraq in 1981. Security Council Resolution 487 (19 June 1981) had expressed full awareness of the fact that “Iraq has been a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons since it came into force in 1970, that in accordance with that Treaty Iraq has accepted IAEA safeguards on all its nuclear activities, and that the Agency has testified that these safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date”.
On the other hand, the same Security Council Resolution deplored the fact that “. . . Israel has not adhered to the non-proliferation Treaty” and expressed deep concern over “the danger to international peace and security created by the premeditated Israeli air attack on Iraqi nuclear installations on 7 June 1981”. The resolution went so far as to say that the attack “constitutes a serious threat to the entire IAEA safeguards regime which is the foundation of the non-proliferation Treaty”. Resolution 487 also fully recognised the inalienable sovereign right of all states, especially the developing countries, to establish programmes of technological and nuclear development to develop their economies and industries for peaceful purposes.
In 70 years of colonising Palestine and denying the Palestinian people the most fundamental of human rights, including their right of return, Israel has respected neither international law nor the sovereignty of its neighbours. The Zionist state is still occupying the Syrian Golan Heights, in violation of international law, and its intention to remain and continue colonising this part of Syria is clear. Earlier this month, Israel’s Transportation and Intelligence Minister, Yisrael Katz, was quoted by Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) in praise of a US air strike on Syria and claiming that “We need another 100,000 settlers in the Golan”.
Expansionist Israel is working assiduously to escalate confrontation with Iran, expecting Trump toprovide all the support it requires, no matter what the consequences. The present division between world leaders over Trump’s actions should give us reason and opportunity to question this insanity. Right now, every government has an opportunity to insist that we give priority and due respect to established and recognised international law and agreements.