Israel Willing to Sign Nuclear Test Ban

June 24, 2015  

Israel is ready to ratify a treaty imposing an international ban on nuclear weapons testing, if Iran agrees to recognize the Jewish state, an Israeli official has said.

Speaking at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, Merav Zafary-Odiz, Israel’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), said that Israel was willing in theory to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

However, she emphasized that doing so was impossible when one of the states it would be required to work with – namely, Iran – denied the State of Israel’s fundamental right to exist and was sworn to its destruction.

“The CTBT is a treaty that Israel intends to ratify. It will do when the time is ripe, when certain considerations are met,” she said, according to Reuters.

The key obstacle is that “Iran does not recognize Israel and is not willing to accept the fact that Israel belongs to its natural geographical group.”

“How can any country be expected to join an arms control arrangement with a country that doesn’t even recognize its right to exist?” she asked.

Iran and Israel are among eight states which in possession of nuclear technology who have not ratified the CTBT; all must do so for it to formally come into effect.

Israel, Iran, the United States, China and Egypt have signed but not ratified it, while India, Pakistan and North Korea have neither signed nor ratified the treaty.

The statement comes less than a week before the deadline set for a deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Israel has been the most vocal of the impending deal’s critics, noting that based on the framework deal signed in April it will not in fact prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons technology, even as it lifts sanctions partially or entirely on an aggressive Islamic regime in Tehran.

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