One of the best-known sayings bandied about in this region is that “Israel will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East.” This has been the official position of successive Israeli governments. What is less known is that after a comprehensive, regional peace agreement is reached, Israel will support a regional decommissioning of nuclear weapons. Recently, President Shimon Peres personally confirmed to me that this was the policy he had presented to the world when he served as prime minister. He added that as far as he knows, this policy remains in effect to this day.
Let us assume that tomorrow Iran informs its American interlocutors that it will cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, abide by all United Nations resolutions relating to nuclear weapons, and recognize Israel – but on two conditions: first, that Iran will receive assurances from the international community that it will immediately act to implement UN resolutions calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state in territories conquered in 1967, and a commitment to expedite the end of Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights; secondly, that Israel be forced to open its reactor in Dimona to IAEA inspectors, to ensure that the country has developed nuclear energy solely for peaceful purposes rather than for producing dozens of atomic bombs, which foreign press reports say do, in fact, exist.