Israel Rejects Offer to Join UN Atomic Agency
UN warns this move is against Israel’s interest.
According to the nuclear chief of the UN’s atomic agency, it is against Israel’s interest not to join, AFP reported on Tuesday.
Arab states have put forth a resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) annual conference in Vienna for Israel to disarm and sign up to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“Israel is not the only member state ... that has exercised its sovereign right not to accede to the NPT due to its national security considerations,” Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission chief Shaul Chorev said.
“Yet Israel is the only state that has been singled out, and is called upon to take a decision which is against its best national interests,” he said at the conference.
“Indeed, the advancement of states’ accessions to international treaties does not fall within the mandate of the (IAEA),” he continued.
Israel is currently the only state in the Middle East believed to possess nuclear weapons.
Chorev said the resolution put forth by the Arab states was part of a “political campaign to defame the state of Israel”.
It was “incompatible with basic principles and norms of international law and does not fall within the mandate of the agency as defined in its statute,” he added.
“Moreover, this resolution ... ignores the adverse reality in the Middle East region,” Chorev said.
He said that Middle East states such as Iran, Syria, Libya and Iraq under Saddam Hussein -- all signatories to the NPT -- had “grossly violated their treaty obligations.”
“These four cases make it absolutely clear that the NPT is unable to adequately address the security challenges in the Middle East region where the treaty has been most abused,” Chorev said.
“The serious threat to the NPT and the non-proliferation regime is posed from within by those states that pursue nuclear weapons under the cover of their NPT membership.”
The resolution put forth by the Arab states is expected to be further debated on Thursday, AFP reported.