UN Criticizes Israel for Not Joining NPT

United States and Canada among five countries to oppose Arab resolution criticizing Israel for refusing to join NPT.

Ben Ariel,

Nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
Flash 90

The UN General Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved an Arab-backed resolution criticizing Israel for refusing to join an international treaty against nuclear proliferation, according to The Associated Press (AP).

The resolution notes that Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that is not party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

It calls on Israel to join the treaty and put its nuclear facilities under the safeguard of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

According to AP, the General Assembly approved the resolution in a 161-5 vote, with 18 countries abstaining. The United States and Canada were among five countries that joined Israel in opposing the resolution.

Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear weapons but has never acknowledged it.

Arab states have accused Western countries of double standards on the nuclear issue by not putting Israel's activities under IAEA supervision, while forcing Iran to honor its obligations under the NPT.

Arab countries have several times tried to pass a resolution expressing concern about Israel's alleged nuclear arsenal in the IAEA, but have been unsuccessful thus far.

The latest attempt to pass the resolution was in September. The measure was rejected by 58 votes to 45, with 27 countries abstaining at the IAEA’s annual general conference.

In 2009, the same resolution was narrowly approved by IAEA members but was never followed up.