IAEA Nations Reject Resolution Against Israel

(Sep. 24) -The International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference, shown meeting today, threw out a proposal calling on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (Dieter Nagl/Getty Images).
(Sep. 24) -The International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference, shown meeting today, threw out a proposal calling on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (Dieter Nagl/Getty Images).

The International Atomic Energy Agency's 151-nation General Conference today voted down a resolution demanding that Israel accede to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and open its controversial nuclear program to international scrutiny, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Sept. 23).

Israel objected strenuously this week to the measure. The United States also lobbied Arab states to drop their IAEA campaign, arguing it would undermine a 2012 conference aimed at creating a WMD-free zone in the region.

Israel is widely believed to possess the only nuclear arms in the Middle East, though it has for decades maintained a policy of neither confirming nor denying its arsenal.

The vote on the measure had "no winners nor losers," said Glyn Davies, Washington's ambassador to the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

"What's important about it is, is that it preserves the chance for movement eventually toward a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction once peace there is achieved," Davies said. The IAEA General Assembly's determination "sends the right, positive signal to the peace process and really allows that process to go ahead," he said.

The development prompted no "feelings of elation or that we've won some great victory," the official added.

"What's important is that we've stopped some action from occurring that would have made it very difficult to move forward with both the peace process and toward a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction when that peace is achieved," Davies said (Agence France-Presse/Spacewar.com, Sept. 24).

The vote's outcome demonstrated that "Israel is not isolated on the [nuclear] issue, and there is a significant degree of understanding for Israel's security position," the Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General Jeremy Issacharoff as saying (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 24).

September 24, 2010
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The International Atomic Energy Agency's 151-nation General Conference today voted down a resolution demanding that Israel accede to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and open its controversial nuclear program to international scrutiny, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Sept. 23).

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