IAEA Shoots Down Arab Call for Israel Inspections

Arab move led by Egypt to inspect Dimona nuclear reactor defeated; Netanyahu: 'no place for this debate as Iran arms itself with nuke.'

Tags: IAEA Dimona
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

IAEA flag in front of its headquarters in Vienna
IAEA flag in front of its headquarters in Vienna

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) annual general conference on Thursday once again shot down an attempt by Arab states to force Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

The proposal to have Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor inspected, which was submitted by Egypt with backing by Syria, Iran, Libya and Iraq, was defeated handily by a margin of 61-43.

While similar proposals have been submitted nearly annually, this is the first such vote since the controversial Iran nuclear deal.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office welcomed the rejection of the resolution.

"I spoke personally with over 30 presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers," Netanyahu said Thursday evening, describing his diplomatic battle against the move.

"In my conversations I explained that there is no place for a debate of this sort at a time when the central problem in the Middle East is the nuclear proliferation attempts of Iran and its clear declarations of intent to destroy the state of Israel."

Netanyahu concluded by "welcoming that the gap in favor of Israel rose significantly from votes in recent years. I thank every country that supported the state of Israel, and foremost among them the United States, Australia and Canada."

As noted by Netanyahu, the 61-43 margin is an improvement from recent years. Last year, a similar measure by 18 Arab member states was rejected by 58 votes to 45, with 27 countries abstaining. The measure was similarly defeated in 2013 by 51-43, with 32 abstentions.

Ze'ev Snir, head of Israel's Atomic Energy Committee, addressed the IAEA on Wednesday and condemned the motion singling out Israel.

"If the resolution passes it will only hurt the credibility of the IAEA by politicizing the organization and reducing it valuable resources," said Snir. "This is clearly beyond the scope and mandate of the IAEA. This debate has been forced upon the economic committee year after year and most of the member states have understood this after voting down these proposals three times in recent years."