[News] IAEA & Israel rejects resolution calling on Israel to join Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Anti-Imperialist News 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 
Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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 worries

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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