If sanctions work against Iran, why not Israel?
The interim nuclear deal between Iran and the Western powers, according to which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme for the next six months in return for limited sanctions relief, sets an important precedent for dealing with the Middle East’s only actual nuclear power, Israel.
However, as British writer Stuart Littlewood points out, you wouldn’t have thought so by listening to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague. Although he says the deal with Iran “had shown that pressure through sanctions coupled with a readiness to negotiate was the right policy”, he seems to think that this doesn’t apply to Israel.
It’s a contradiction – no, a double standard – that wasn’t lost on some British members of parliament who, during the parliamentary session on 25 November at which Hague made his statement, flocked to mention the nuclear time bomb glaring at Hague and his Western partners in the face. One, Gerald Kaufman, went straight to the point:
Will the Right Honourable Gentleman point out to the prime minister of Israel, who yesterday said that nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons in the world — he should know because he has a stockpile of several hundred nuclear warheads and the missiles with which to deliver them — and who in addition refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], that any attempt to damage or attack the agreement in any way will be unacceptable and will be opposed?
“Why,” Littlewood asks, “has Hague been so focused on Iran when Israel is the one with a runaway, unsafeguarded nuclear weapons programme, a deranged leadership and a dreadful track record?” He adds:
UN Security Council resolution 487 of 1981 called on Israel “urgently to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards”. Israel has been allowed to ignore it for 32 years. In 2009, the International Atomic Energy Agency called on Israel to join the NPT, open its nuclear facilities to inspection and place them under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. Israel still refuses to join or allow inspections.
The Zionist regime is reckoned to have up to 400 nuclear warheads at its disposal. It is the only state in the region that is not a party to the NPT (Iran is). It has signed but not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. As regards biological and chemical weapons, Israel has not signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. It has signed but not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention.
So Hague is kicking the wrong ass. He needs to propel the toe of his boot into the US-subsidized derrière of the Zionist entity. That’s where his “unprecedented” sanctions are needed…
But that’s unlikely to happen, as is clear from the British foreign secretary’s answer to one member of parliament. As Littlewood notes,
Paul Flynn (Labour), in the wake of Hague’s statement this week, asked pointedly if it would be right for the government to now approach Israel and ask for a reciprocal gesture, opening its nuclear facilities to international inspection in order to denuclearize the whole Middle East.
Hague was evasive: “Politics is the art of the possible… and it has turned out that this agreement [with Iran] is possible. The Honourable Gentleman is trying to lead me into something that it would probably not be possible for us to obtain.
However, Littlewood concludes, “sanctions, if pressed home with the vigour and ruthlessness exerted against Iran, should do nicely for Israel. People around the world are already applying their own sanctions because their weak politicians won’t act.”