Egypt Demanding Inspection by U.S. of Israel’s Atomic Energy Facilities
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Egypt Demanding Inspection by U.S. of Israel’s Atomic Energy Facilities

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The United States government, prodded by Egypt, wants Israel to put all of its atomic energy facilities and material, regardless of source of supply or time of acquisition, under both international and U.S. inspection as a condition for obtaining future American nuclear equipment and supplies. However, whether the present Israeli atomic installation is to be under that proviso in negotiations the U.S. is now holding with Egypt and Israel was not made clear.

The issue arose today at the State Department after published reports said that the U.S. has proposed that Egypt and Israel place future nuclear facilities and material under international inspection as a condition for receiving American nuclear supplies and plants. When asked by reporters if an agreement with Egypt and Israel was contingent on their acquiescence to inspection by the U.S. and the international Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA). State Department spokesman John King indicated this was established, noting that strong pro-safe-guards positions were taken before talks began.

King recalled that Undersecretary of State Joseph J. Sisco had told the Fraser-Hamilton subcommittees of the House on Sept. 16 that, in King’s words, “The U.S. is endeavoring to obtain assurances from the recipient countries that future facilities and material furnished not only by the U.S. but as well by others, that such facilities be under safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Administration.”


King added that Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, in his address to the UN General Assembly Sept. 23 urged that the IAEA be empowered to enhance the security against the theft or diversion of nuclear material and that the U.S. would shortly offer specific proposals for strengthening safeguards. King said that in the U.S. proposed agreements with Israel and Egypt, bilateral physical security measures also would be established.

King sidestepped a direct question as to whether Egypt, in its negotiations with the U.S. is demanding that Israel’s present atomic energy facility, known as the Dimona installation. be put under international controls, although that installation has nothing to do with U.S. assistance. Saying he could not go into details of “allege proposals in negotiations that are on going, ###stressed that when the agreements are signed, they will be presented to Congress as, he noted, is required by law.King volunteered that he had “no evidence to suggest that either party (Egypt or Israel) has changed its mind in its desire to acquire facilities and material” from the U.S. He said that to his knowledge, the U.S. has not yet made a specific proposal to the IAEA on safeguards and that the situation is where it was when Kissinger addressed the UN.

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