World Tribune
April 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli sources said scientists employed at Israel's nuclear facility at Dimona have been denied visas to the United States. They said the Israelis were not allowed to enter the United States for training in chemistry, nuclear engineering and physics.

"This is a new policy decision of the Obama administration, since there never used to be an issue with the reactor's employees to study in the United States, and until recently, they received visas and studied in the United States," the Israeli daily Maariv said.

In an April 8 report, confirmed by Israeli sources, Maariv said the administration of President Barack Obama has prevented the entry of employees from Israel's Nuclear Research Center. The newspaper said this reversed a longtime policy whereby the Israeli scientists had been allowed to attend seminars in the United States.

"They [Dimona employees] also complain of being treated in an insulting manner by Obama's people," the newspaper said.

Israeli academics said the U.S. policy also included a ban on sales to Dimona, which has not come under the inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency. They said even simple equipment, such as radiation detectors, were bought in France because of the U.S. policy.

"The United States doesn't sell anything nuclear-related to the Dimona reactor, and that means absolutely nothing," Professor Zev Alfasi, head of the nuclear engineering department at Ben-Gurion University, said. "They sell to universities, but they refuse to sell these same items of equipment to the Nuclear Research Center. I do not know whether they will sell Iran the same items that they refuse to sell us."


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