Arabs withdraw anti-Israel resolution at IAEA

Israel says it won’t be first to introduce nuclear weapons to ME, contends nonproliferation treaty made irrelevant in region by Libya, Syria, Iran.

September 23, 2011 18:14
2 minute read.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano

IAEA Yukiya Amano 311. (photo credit: REUTERS / Herwig Prammer)

A group of Arab nations on Friday withdrew a resolution they had considered submitting at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency aimed at condemning Israel’s nuclear activities.

Israel and the United States had spent the past few months working behind the scenes to torpedo the submission of the resolution called “Israel’s nuclear capabilities.” Last year, it was brought to a vote and lost, possibly one of the reasons why the Arab nations ultimately decided not to raise the resolution this year.

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Also on Friday, Israel voted against a resolution calling on all states in the Middle East to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Israel is not a signatory to, despite having a nuclear capability, according to foreign reports.

The Israel Atomic Energy Commission said that Iran, which was a signatory of the treaty, consistently violated it while Israel, on the other hand, maintained a responsible and restrained nuclear policy.

“Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East, and the implementation of the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] in the Middle East has been proven to be irrelevant by countries like Libya, Iraq, Syria and Iran,” the commission said. “Israel will continue to maintain its sovereign right to decide which international treaties it will sign on to.”

Israel also abstained in the vote on a resolution calling for increased IAEA supervision in the Middle East.

“Israel hopes that the removal of the resolution called ‘Israel’s nuclear capabilities’ from the conference’s agenda will enable the IAEA to focus on the truly important issues it needs to, like supervision of nuclear facilities, safety and technology,” the Israel Atomic Energy Commission said.

On Tuesday, commission chief Dr. Shaul Chorev warned that Iran was directly involved in activities related to the design and testing of nuclear weapons. “Not only is Iran continuing its enrichment-related activities in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, but it is also engaged in activities directly related to the design and testing of nuclear weapons,” Chorev said.

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