(photo credit: Associated Press)
Israel expressed satisfaction over the weekend that weeks of lobbying efforts
succeeded and a resolution was narrowly defeated Friday at the International
Atomic Energy Agency general assembly in Vienna calling for Israel to accede to
the Non Proliferation Treaty and place its nuclear facilities under IAEA
The resolution put forward by Arab states and viewed in
Jerusalem as another example of anti- Israeli resolutions tabled regularly in
international forums, was defeated by a vote of 51-46, with 23 abstentions and
another 31 countries absent.
RELATED:Israel fights back in IAEA against nuke resolution proposal'IAEA chief asked Israel to join nonproliferation treaty'
Last year a similar resolution passed by a
vote of 49-45. Among the countries who voted alongside Israel this time, as
opposed to last year, were Haiti, Panama, Costa Rica, Palau and the Marshall
In addition, Thailand and Singapore, which voted against Israel
in 2009, abstained this time around.
All of the European Union
countries voted for Israel.
Among the other countries with whom
Israel has good ties who voted against Israel were Russia, China, Belarus,
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Philippines.
Both Turkey and South Africa also
voted against Israel.
Many of the African countries absented themselves
from the vote, and some key Latin American countries, like Brazil and Argentina,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying he
was satisfied by the vote and appreciated the US efforts on the
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who in recent days made dozens
of phone calls to his counterparts around the world to defeat the resolution,
said this was an “important victory for the moral position against an extreme
and hypocritical one.” Lieberman’s office said the vote also showed that
Lieberman’s policy of cultivating relations with a wide variety of countries
around the world who were largely ignored in the past – such as countries in
South America, Africa and eastern Europe – paid off.
the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general for Strategic Affairs who was
intensely involved in efforts to defeat the resolution, said the vote showed
that “Israel is not isolated on the issue, and there is a significant degree of
understanding for Israel’s security position.” Issacharoff said the result of
the vote indicates a growing frustration inside the IAEA “at being unable to
deal with the real threats to international and regional security, like Iran and
Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission was also heavily involved in
efforts to fight the resolution.
A statement by that agency said the
goals of the resolution were to “isolate Israel. The Arab group ignored requests
by the President of the United States to remove the resolution from the agenda
so as not to harm the peace process.”
At a speech at the assembly last
week, the head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, Shaul Chorev, said “I wish
to remind all delegates that four Middle Eastern member states, parties to the
NPT, namely, Iran, Syria, Libya and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, have grossly
violated their treaty obligations. These four cases make it absolutely clear,
that the NPT is unable to adequately address the security challenges of the
Middle East region, where the Treaty has been mostly abused.”
that the true threat to the non-proliferation regime “is posed from within, by
those states that pursue nuclear weapons, under the cover of their NPT
After the vote, US chief delegate Glyn Davies said it was
significant in the context of continuing Israel- Palestinian peace talks and
US-backed plans to stage a major conference in two years on a Mideast nuclear
“It preserves a chance for the movement eventually toward a
Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, once peace there is achieved,”
“It sends the right positive signal to the peace process and
really allows that process to go ahead.”
Iran, meanwhile, pledged that
the resolution would be reintroduced at next year’s meeting.
“The US and
Israeli allies have confronted... the whole world and this is a dark page in
history for their foreign policy,” Iranian delegate Ali Asghar Soltanieh told
reporters. “They put fuel in the fire.”AP contributed to this report.