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Norwegian TV documentary airing at NRK tonight

To: the Foreign desk
The Guardian
Oslo, 6. Dec. 2005

Dear editor,

I think the following is of considerable interest to British audiences.

Did the Norwegian Labor government know about Israel´s nuclear arms ambitions?

The Norwegian government knew of Israel´s nuclear ambitions when they negotiated the sale of heavy water to Israel back in 1959.

A team from Norway´s national broadcasting corporation, NRK, last week got hold of secret intelligence reports showing that Sweden and Canada had been asked for assistance with their nuclear arms program. Evidence that this information was known to the Norwegian cabinet when they negotiated with Israel will be aired tonight in a documentary with direct relevance to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to IAEA and GD El Baradei only 5 days from now. The program also has extensive interviews with Vanunu, the Israeli whistleblower who was released last year, after 18 years in excessively harsh imprisonment, but where Israel´s government restricts his freedom and human rights, a.o. to travel and free speech.

As you will remember the (non)involvement of the British cabinet in the sale of 20 tons of heavy water to Israel became an issue this spring. Apparently the Israelis found that the Norwegians would be easier to deal with and therefore the sale of the British heavy water was negotiated through Norway and organized as a return to Norway - while the merchandise was loaded on Israeli keel in British port.

An important source for the NRK "Brennpunkt" program is a book I am about to finish in English, entitled " Vanunu". The book appeared in Norwegian last month, published by our biggest publisher, Aschehoug.

In the book I ask why Israel would be so opposed to Norwegian inspections if it was true that they would use the heavy water for peaceful purposes only.

My conclusion that the Labour party, which in 1959 had absolute majority in parliament, acted in bad faith, is thoroughly confirmed by documentation presented in the new documentary. The prime minister and foreign minister of the recently formed cabinet are both from the Labor Party and have a lot to account for when the General Director of the UN nuclear agency, IAEA, Mr. El Baradei, comes to Oslo this weekend to receive the Nobel peace prize for 2005.

My book on Vanunu also proves major deception on the part of Israel, both of the world and their own citizens. They used Vanunu to help the government deter both neighbour states and internal opposition, through an extremely cynical ruse, which now has to end through the immediate release of Vanunu.

-Fredrik Heffermehl

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