Israel May Be Next to Ratify Nuclear Test-Ban Accord: Pact Leader

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Global Security Newswire Staff
March 20, 2014, 7:43 a.m.

Is­rael could be the next ad­vanced nuc­le­ar state to rat­i­fy the pact that bans atom­ic test­ing, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial who leads im­ple­ment­a­tion of the treaty.

Is­rael is “prob­ably the one that could rat­i­fy first” of eight hol­d­out na­tions whose rat­i­fic­a­tion of the Com­pre­hens­ive Test Ban Treaty is ne­ces­sary for it to enter in­to force, said Lassina Zerbo in an in­ter­view with the Times of Is­rael. “The mes­sage I’m get­ting is not ‘if’ but ‘when.’”

The head of the Pre­par­at­ory Com­mis­sion for the Com­pre­hens­ive Test Ban Treaty Or­gan­iz­a­tion was in Is­rael for dis­cus­sions with For­eign Min­is­ter Avig­dor Lieber­man, Atom­ic En­ergy Com­mis­sion head Shaul Chorev and In­tel­li­gence Min­is­ter Yuval Stein­itz.

The key eight na­tions that have not yet form­ally de­clared ad­her­ence to the agree­ment are: China, Egypt, In­dia, Ir­an, Is­rael, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States.

Is­raeli in­siders told the news­pa­per that no con­cer­ted ef­fort is presently un­der way to se­cure Knes­set ap­prov­al of the so-called “CT­BT” pact.

The Middle East­ern coun­try signed the test ban treaty in 1996. Is­rael widely un­der­stood to have a nuc­le­ar stock­pile, though the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment has nev­er of­fi­cially ac­know­ledged pos­sess­ing the weapons.

“The con­cerns we see from Is­rael are con­cerns that we can deal with,” Zerbo said. “The trust Is­rael should have in this treaty is in­creas­ing.”

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