Amid the fierce media war going on among the United States, Israel and Iran, Garth Evans, Co-Chair of International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, said during a press conference held in Cairo under the auspices of the Australian Embassy and the Strategic Studies Center of Al-Ahram Egyptian daily, “The year 2020 will be the year of disarmament. There’s a genuine intention on the part of the countries which possess nuclear weapons to reduce the number of their nuclear arsenals.” He also said that Israel should be part of the non-proliferation agreement.
He concluded with these reassuring political words, “I appeal to nuclear countries to stop the race of arming themselves with nuclear and chemical weapons. We should engage in negotiations to stop this race and make our peoples live in peace.” Evans spoke highly of the commitment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt to maintain their self-restraint. He lauded them for not engaging themselves in a nuclear race that would make the region more volatile that it already was. Evans’ statements are optimistic about the future of humanity. He dreams to see the day when the whole world is free from nuclear and mass destruction weapons.
After completing the commission’s tasks in Egypt, Evans traveled to Israel. A few hours after arriving there, the BBC announced that Israel had plans to build a new nuclear arsenal and that the Israeli infrastructure minister would reveal the new plans later.
The BBC also claimed that the new nuclear reactor would be built in south Israel and that the Israeli minister discussed the plans with the French energy minister and Jordanian authorities. However, Israel neither confirmed nor denied the plans. We must not forget that France was the first to provide Israel with nuclear reactors in the 1950s. France also built Dimona, Israel Nuclear Reactor, and developed Israel’s nuclear abilities. Then the United States took over and took on the responsibility.
Many experts on weapons of mass destruction say that Israel can annihilate Europe and Moscow. After all, Israel ranks fourth in the International Nuclear Club after the United States, Russia and China.
Israel had not responded to the BBC news about the new nuclear reactor. It played the same card and kept talking about how the country is surrounded by enemies and that its security requires deterring forces. Haaretz Israeli daily published the following report in line with the Israeli policy.
The report said tens of surface-to-surface missiles would target Israeli air force bases in the next war. These predictions were made by the division in charge of studying air weapons performance and preparedness to respond to potential attacks on air force bases.
Israeli intelligence units claimed that Hizbollah and Syria were arming themselves with missiles which could target strategic targets in Israel with high precision.
Israeli predictions claimed that if a war raged in the north, Syria and Hizbollah, perhaps Hamas too, would attempt to hit military targets such as air force bases in addition to populous areas. The study stated that the Israeli air force sector was implementing a plan to prepare thousands of soldiers to take their places in military bases and be ready to continue working even at times of shelling.
Sources indicated another method, called “Iron Dome” to protect Israeli air force bases. The Israeli army obtained 20 giant aircraft which provide fuel to jet fighters while in the air.
Moreover, Israel, with unlimited US help, was able to get permission to use several air routes of the countries surrounding Iran.
Israel set up two military airports at the autonomous Kurdish region, north Iraq, in 2004. Some NATO sources said that three countries permitted Israel to use their airspace in cases of war and use their regional waters to get fuel, food and missiles. Moreover, an Israeli submarine carrying weapons is stationed permanently in the Gulf region.
Some experts said Israel might resort to using its nuclear arsenal in emergency cases. If Iran or Hizbollah decides to use missiles with biological or chemical heads against Israel, the latter will use its arsenal, specifically small nuclear bombs to counter attack.
These bombs are capable of annihilating living things without causing any damage to buildings and organizations. They possess radiological reactions that might reach to hundreds of kilometers. These bombs are used as a new method to cause harm to living things without causing any harm or damage to nearby countries. They have been kept in the US nuclear arsenal since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Therefore, I would like to say to Mr. Evans that he is very optimistic and this optimism will lead him nowhere. Evans as well as all people should know that the world is not going to get rid of mass destruction weapons unless the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom has gotten rid of their nuclear weapons and forced Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea to follow suit.
Is this possible? I don’t think so, at least for the time being.
— Hassan Tahsin is an Egyptian writer and political analyst. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org