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German newspaper highlights IAEA chief’s senseless Israel trip

Berlin, Aug 27, IRNA — The German daily Frankfurter Rundschau on Friday pointed to the senseless trip of the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano to Israel as he wasn’t able to achieve his objectives.

The paper said the first visit of an IAEA chief to Israel since 1998 did not go well, as leaders of the Isreal refused to meet him. ‘Many observers view Israel’s stance towards the UN nuclear watchdog as an affront,’ according to the daily. It also cited Israel’s refusal to show Amano its controversial Dimona nuclear reactor as an example of the IAEA official’s worthless trip.

The daily seriously questioned whether Amano’s visit to Israel made any sense since he was not able to tour Dimona or meet any other Israeli ministers. The Frankfurt-based paper said Israel’s nuclear ambiguity tactics had also reached ‘the end of its effectiveness’ as international pressure on the the Isreal regime is intensifying to come clean on its disputed nuclear program.

Amano’s visit to the Jewish state comes against a backdrop of demands by some IAEA members that Israel, generally considered to be the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear-armed power, sign up to the international Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Israel’s nuclear project has also been thorny for its closest allies, the United States and Germany since other countries, especially Muslim and non-aligned ones, accuse the West of hypocrisy in tolerating Israel’s atomic buildup while condemning Iran for its nuclear activities which is under the full control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In one of the world’s worst-kept secrets, Israel has become a nuclear giant. It is estimated to have hundreds of atomic weapons, an arsenal that ranks it fifth among nuclear powers and dwarfs the programs of India, Pakistan and North Korea.

Though warning of the danger from other countries, Israel is the only state that has ever brought the Mideast to the brink of nuclear war. Yet it has maintained a policy of ‘deliberate ambiguity’ about its own nuclear capabilities even as it bombed an Iraqi reactor in 1981 and pressured other countries to disarm.