Arab-backed measure calling for Israel to accede to Nuclear Proliferation Treaty narrowly defeated at meeting of UN watchdog; FM: Important victory for the moral position against an extreme and hypocritical one.
After weeks of intense lobbying efforts, Israel succeeded in defeating a resolution put forward at the annual meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna calling for Israel to accede to the Non Proliferation Treaty and place its nuclear facilities under IAEA guidelines.
The resolution put forward by the Arab group and viewed in Jerusalem as another example of anti-Israeli resolutions tabled regularly in international forums, was defeated by a vote of 51-46.
Last year a similar resolution passed by a vote of 49-45.
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."
Jeremy Issacharoff, 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 Syria.
Israel's Atomic Energy Commission was also heavily involved in efforts to fight the resolution, and both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres raised the issue with their counterparts over the last several days.
At a speech at the assembly earlier in the 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."
Chorev said 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 membership."
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