Dr. Franklin Lamb, International Lawyer
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has launched a week-long meeting to discuss ongoing nuclear programs in the Middle East.
The IAEA Board of Governors meeting opened in Vienna on Monday focusing on Iran, Syria, and Israel — which is believed to be the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
This is the first time the Board of Governors has made a move to discuss Israel’s nuclear arsenal since 1991.
What follows is the transcription of a phone interview with Dr. Franklin Lamb, an international lawyer from Beirut, about the IAEA meeting.
Press TV: Dr. Lamb, this IAEA meeting comes after 19 years, discussing Israel’s nuclear program, which is thought to have a military nature. What do you think their next step is?
Dr. Lamb: You are right, it has been 19 years. This meeting is being held under substantial pressure from Washington not to discuss that subject. I think it is an important step for the IAEA because it will add to their credibility now that they are looking at the subject. We cannot predict in advance what their declaration will be after this week’s meeting, but it is very likely that they are going to ask for transparency and an inventory from Israel as well as urging them…to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Remember the Washington conference in May… One of the three main findings was a call for an inventory of all nuclear weapons, including those in the Middle East, within a four-year period. Therefore, I see this meeting as consistent with that call which President Obama reiterated; starting this process of demanding transparency and also accountability and an inventory of the claimed 200 or 300 warheads which the Jane’s Defence Weekly said Israel possesses. So this is progress, this is moving in a direction where so much movement seems to be happening in the Middle East.
Press TV: Like you said this is the right step that is taken and we should wait to see if Israel would actually comply. However, how do you think regional countries perceive these threats from Israel’s nuclear weapons?
Dr. Lamb: I think all of them perceive it as a threat. And that is what in a sense has allowed Israel to increase its territory to conduct these aggressions, but those days are over, because I think there is now effectively a deterrent to Israel’s aggressions. I think they can no longer attack for example Lebanon at will as they have done some 6 times in the past 20 years. They are going to have to think twice about invading Gaza again, and I think they will be well advised not to move against Iran. That is because the resistance is growing weekly; it is broadening in terms of public support, I believe it is deepening in terms of military capacities as well.
They [the resistance] have recently actually achieved a deterrence, a balance… So that Israel can no longer be assured of its military superiority as it was in the past. Week by week, they become relatively weaker as the resistance, meaning Syria, Gaza, the West Bank, Iran, and in the entire region those who are opposed to Israeli policies are getting stronger. Now the Americans are realizing, as even the head of Mossad mentioned last week, that Israel is no longer a military asset or a strategic ally; but a strategic liability. So with all these movements I think history is in the process of correcting this injustice.
Press TV: Thank you Mr. Franklin Lamb for joining us from Beirut.