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IAEA flagReuters

A resolution proposed by Arab states expressing concern about Israel's alleged nuclear arsenal was defeated on Thursday at a meeting of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The measure, brought by 18 Arab member states, was rejected by 58 votes to 45, with 27 countries abstaining at the annual general conference.

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

The Jewish state is a member of the UN nuclear agency but is not subject to IAEA inspections except for a small research facility.

The proposed resolution, which has also been rejected on previous occasions, expressed "concerns about Israeli nuclear capabilities" and urged Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and place all its nuclear facilities under IAEA supervision.

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

Arab member 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.

Tehran is suspected by the West of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a claim it denies. Just Wednesday, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz brought evidence, however, that Tehran has conducted nuclear tests at the Parchin military base.

Iran and world powers are in talks to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal by November 24.

AFP contributed to this report