West foiled Arab bid to declare Israel atomic threat


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

West foiled Arab bid to declare Israel atomic threat
9/24/2006 7:00:00 AM GMT

Western nations foiled a bid by Arab and Islamic states on Friday to declare 
Israel's nuclear arsenal a threat that must be eliminated in a politically 
charged vote at a UN atomic watchdog meeting, reported Reuters.

15 Arab countries prepared a draft resolution on behalf of the Arab League to 
the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting concerning "Israel's nuclear 
capacities and threats", senior diplomat of an Arab country revealed to Agence 
France Press, adding that the draft resolution also won the backing of 
Indonesia, Iran, Cuba, Malaysia and Venezuela.

The text, according to the Arab diplomat urges the Jewish State to ratify the 
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Canada sponsored a 45-29 "no-action" ballot that blocked an IAEA vote on the 
motion demanding Israel use atomic energy only for peaceful purposes, preparing 
for a Middle East nuclear arms-free zone.

89-2 voted for a ³milder resolution² on Israel, according to Reuters.

Israel insists that a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East can only 
happen after a regional peace agreement.

"The (Western) blocking maneuver is astonishing when innocent blood has not yet 
dried in Lebanon," said Syrian delegate Ibrahim Othman, adding that allowing 
Israel have nuclear weapons is a destabilizing imbalance of power in the Middle 
East region.

One Western diplomat had been quoted as saying that "if the draft resolution is 
kept on the agenda, there is also a good chance it will be adopted."

That would tarnish the credibility of Western powers, currently trying to get 
the IAEA Board of Governors to adopt a resolution against Iran's nuclear 
program, for it would uncover the double standard applied in the cases of Israel
and Iran with one being protected as a military nuclear power who refuses to 
sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, while the other is being prevented 
even to exercise its rights under the NPT for peaceful development of nuclear 

Israel neither admits nor denies having nuclear weapons, it has long stubbornly 
rejected international inspections of Dimona, Israel's main nuclear power plant.

Related stories...

World opinion opposes use of force against Iran

World opinion opposes the use of force against Iran to halt its nuclear program,
according to a global poll published on Thursday.

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