Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Tuesday, 22 February, 2000, 22:32 GMT
US increases nuclear ties with Israel

Bill Richardson and Eli Suissa
Bill Richardson and his Israeli counterpart, Eli Suissa, toast their agreement in Jerusalem


The United States has agreed to improve co-operation with Israel on non-sensitive nuclear and other energy technologies.

Washington had previously declared Israel a sensitive country because it has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

However the American Energy Secretary, Bill Richardson, said the new agreement "was a signal that Israel was a friendly country".

"It is not treated in a similar fashion to others on our list of sensitive countries," he said.

Sceintific co-operation

The agreement will allow Israeli scientists access to US nuclear technology that had previously been denied.

Co-operation between Israeli and American scientists and exchanges of equipment will become a matter of course in nuclear and solar energy areas.

Another US official said the new agreements would allow greater possibilities for verification of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.

"We are improving our co-sensor and monitoring technology for improving the overall verification for the test ban treaty," Rose Gottemoeller, of the US Office of Non-Proliferation, said.

The deal was agreed without Israel changing its policy on the NPT, or its military nuclear programmes.

Israel's nuclear programme

Israel is widely believed to have a sophisticated military nuclear weapons programme.

Mordachai Vanunu Vanunu: jailed for 18 years for revealing nuclear secrets
It has never officially admitted to this, and maintains a policy of 'nuclear ambiguity', saying that it will not be the first country to introduce them to the Middle East.

Israel has two nuclear facilities, a nuclear reactor at Dimona in the Negev desert, and a smaller nuclear research facility at Nahal Sorek south of Tel Aviv.

Dimona is believed to house Israel's military nuclear capability.

Mordechai Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear technician, was jailed in 1986 for 18 years after leaking information about Israel's stockpiling of nuclear weapons at Dimona.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Middle East Contents

Country profiles

See also:
24 Nov 99 |  Middle East
Vanunu trial extracts published
21 Oct 98 |  Middle East
Book breaks Israel's nuclear taboo

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories