Eight signatories to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Germany, the United States, Britain, France, Russia, Libya, China and Iran) sent representatives to a small Swiss villa at Genthod, just off Lake Geneva, for talks with Israel that began today (October 1).
In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed what he called "constructive" talks with Israel, but he stressed that Israel must follow with constructive action and be more forthcoming about its nuclear program.
"Israel must demonstrate its commitment to transparency. Earlier this month we presented clear evidence that Israel has a covert nuclear facility in Dimona," he said. "Israel must now agree to cooperate fully and immediately with the International Atomic Energy Agency, it must grant unfettered access to IAEA inspectors within two weeks."
Obama also said Israel must demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful.
Without such concrete steps, he said the United States won't continue to take part in talks but instead will move to bring what he called "increased pressure" on Tel Aviv.
President Obama, however, became visibly agitated when questioned about Germany's concern over the ironic timing of the U.S. announcement today that it plans to increase nuclear weapons production under a "Complex Modernization" initiative. Obama responded menacingly, "That's none of Germany's or anyone else's goddamned fucking business, got it?"