[News] IAEA & Israel rejects resolution calling on Israel to join Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Sep 24 11:52:51 EDT 2010
IAEA rejects Arab move over Israel
UN watchdog rejects resolution calling on Israel to join Nuclear
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2010 14:43 GMT
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations'
nuclear watchdog, has rejected an Arab-proposed resolution calling on
Israel to join a global anti-atomic arms treaty.
The general assembly of the 151-member IAEA blocked the resolution at
its meeting in Vienna on Friday. Fifty-one member states voted
against the resolution while 46 voted in favour and 23 abstained.
Israel had warned the UN nuclear watchdog that an Arab-led push to
target the Jewish state in a resolution could deal a "fatal blow" to
future co-operation on boosting Middle East security.
"Adopting this resolution will be a fatal blow to any hope for future
co-operative efforts towards better regional security in the Middle
East," Ehud Azoulay, Israel's IAEA envoy said, shortly before the vote.
The delegate made the statement during a tense debate on the draft
resolution, which called on Israel to join the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Arab representatives said Israel's presumed nuclear arsenal threatens
regional peace and stability.
The Jewish state is the region's only country outside the NPT.
The United States had urged Arab states to withdraw the non-binding
resolution, saying it could derail broader efforts to ban such arms
in the Middle East and also send a negative signal to the relaunched
Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
"It is...unfortunate that this resolution is being pursued at a time
when peace talks in the Middle East are being restarted after a long
delay," Glyn Davies, the US ambassador, said.
"The divisiveness and confrontation caused by this resolution
threatens these talks just as they are being rekindled," he told the assembly.
Israel says it will not consider joining the NPT until there is
comprehensive Middle East peace. It would have been forced to
renounce nuclear weaponry if it had agreed to sign the pact.
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the Iranian chief delegate, whose country was
among the most ardent backers of the resolution, claimed victory
despite the motion's defeat, telling reporters the vote and
surrounding discussion kept pressure on Israel, which is commonly
considered to be the only Middle Eastern nation to posses nuclear weapons.
Still, the result was disappointing to supporters of the resolution,
who had hoped to build on the momentum of last year, when the IAEA
assembly overrode Western objections to pass a similar resolution
directly criticising Israel and its atomic programme for the first
time in 18 years.
Arab states say there cannot be peace in the Middle East until Israel
gives up nuclear arms.
Israel has never confirmed nor denied having atomic bombs, under a
policy of ambiguity to deter its Arab and Islamic foes.
Israel and the United States regard Iran as the Middle East's main
proliferation threat, accusing it of seeking to develop atomic
weapons in secret, a charge rejected by Tehran.
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