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IAEA Meeting Rejects Arab Resolution Criticizing Israel's Nukes

Delegates at the International Atomic Energy Agency's annual general conference in Vienna, pictured Sept. 16. An Arab-backed resolution criticizing Israel for its suspected nuclear arsenal on Friday was voted down by IAEA member states (International Atomic Energy Agency photo). Delegates at the International Atomic Energy Agency's annual general conference in Vienna, pictured Sept. 16. An Arab-backed resolution criticizing Israel for its suspected nuclear arsenal on Friday was voted down by IAEA member states (International Atomic Energy Agency photo).

An Arab-sponsored measure criticizing Israel for its widely suspected nuclear arsenal failed on Friday to secure enough votes to pass at the International Atomic Energy Agency's yearly general membership meeting, Russia Today reported.

The resolution lost by a vote of 43-51.

The nonbinding measure is understood to have called on Israel to place all of its atomic sites under comprehensive IAEA safeguards and to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear country. IAEA member states in 2009 passed a similar resolution.

Washington earlier this week criticized the effort to single Israel out for condemnation after failing to convince Arab states from introducing the resolution.

Israeli nuclear energy head Shaul Chorev charged that the Arab resolution would only worsen "existing distrust" between Middle Eastern nations.

Israel is estimated to have 80 nuclear weapons, according to a recent Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists report. The Jewish state's longstanding policy has been to neither confirm nor deny its possession of nuclear arms even as it repeatedly criticizes and threatens to attack Iran for its controversial uranium enrichment activities.

A U.N. effort to convene a conference for all Middle Eastern nations on establishing weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone for the region never came to fruition by a deadline in 2012, largely due to Israel's refusal to confirm its attendance.

Israel and the United States both contend it is unreasonable to expect any advancements on a WMD-free zone in the region as long as Iran continues its disputed nuclear development and there is no overarching Arab-Israeli peace agreement.

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Country Profile

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Israel

This article provides an overview of Israel's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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