Currently, Qatar has over 35 technical cooperation projects with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) honoured Qatar for its generous contributions to the financing of the agency’s projects, including some laboratories located on the outskirts of Vienna.
At the energy agency’s headquarters in Vienna while delivering a speech, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi expressed his appreciation of Qatar’s hefty-sum support of the agency’s programmes, taking note of its role in the renovation of the Seibersdorf laboratories in the Austrian capital.
He noted that the Gulf state was among the first eight nations to contribute in financing the second phase of the agency’s laboratories renewal project, Qatar News Agency reported. The other such countries included Australia, Nigeria, Kuwait, Slovenia, Slovakia, the United States and Mexico.
Qatar also provided monetary support in the first phase of the renewal project.
The eight countries that contributed to the second phase have been physically acknowledged for their efforts, with their names plastered on an honorary wall.
The IAEA’s Non-Proliferation Treaty
Last year, Qatar called on Israel to join the Middle Eastern Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to contain the global proliferation of nuclear weapons and eliminate the threat of a “nuclear war” in the region.
At the time, Qatar’s envoy to Austria and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and International Organisations in Vienna Sultan bin Salmeen Al Mansouri said the Zionist regime is the only state that refuses to join the treaty which aims to ‘free’ the Middle East of nuclear weapons as part of international resolutions to stabilise the area.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the centrepiece of global efforts to inhibit the spread of nuclear weapons, including three elements, namely non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Israel owns nuclear weapons. However its refusal to join the treaty stipulates that it will not be subject to inspections nor does it risk being sanctioned by the United Nations’ IAEA.
The Qatari official said Doha urges Tel Aviv to cooperate with the IAEA and open its nuclear facilities and atomic reactors to inspection.
Although the Israeli regime persists to reject claims of its development of nuclear weapons at its facility, or even discloe the amount it already possesses, former Dimona expert Mordechai Vanunu revealed pictures of its nuclear warheads to the media in the mid-1980s.
In 2003, it was estimated that “Israel” possessed between 100 to 200 nuclear warheads. Experts anticipate that the numbers have doubled by now.
Israel possesses a sizeable nuclear arsenal, however, it maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity.
Israel is not a member of the NPT, which is essentially the most important global treaty on the world’s deadliest weapon .
Iran, although an official signatory of the NPT, has been under incessant Western scrutiny for the latter’s suspicion of the Islamic Republic’s alleged use of its uranium enrichment programme in developing “atomic bombs”.
Tehran insists its use to be designated for energy production.
Qatar’s efforts in the IAEA
In December 2020, Qatar became a signatory to the IAEA’s convention on nuclear safety, after expressing its concerns over the development of nuclear energy power plants in the region.
In January last year, the IAEA approved a series of projects in collaboration with Qatar for the years of 2022 and 2023, covering the field of nuclear research.
Represented by the Department of Radiation and Chemical Protection, Qatar’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change said the planned projects will also cover areas of food safety and will be implemented with the cooperation of the Ministry of Public Health.
One such project is also assigned to oversee the establishment of a secondary calibration laboratory for radioactive devices – the largest of its kind in the Middle East – with the aim of improving radiation protection programmes in Qatar.
As per current data gatherings, Doha has around 35 technical cooperation projects with the IAEA, 23 of which are regional, 10 are on a national scale, and two of which are being conducted at a worldwide level.
The projects cover a range of sectors including agriculture, medicine, human health in line with combating diseases, environment to curb pollution and climate change, and other departments responsible for tightening the grip over radiological activities and peaceful use of atomic energy.