Amid strong and very public US politicking the IAEA narrowly rejected a non-binding resolution urging Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Israel is the only state in the Middle East and one of only three states on the planet which is not a signatory.
The US had argued it was “unfair” to single Israel out, even though the effort was part of a goal for a Nuclear Free Middle East and Israel is the only holdout, and also the only nuclear armed nation in the region. Israel has ruled out ever signing the NPT at any rate.
But US Envoy to the IAEA Glyn Davies praised the failure of the vote, saying “the winner here is the peace process. The winner here is the opportunity to move forward with a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.”
The later claim seems incredible as Israel’s arms will remain an obstacle to a Nuclear Free Middle East going forward and President Obama has publicly announced that it is his position that Israel has every right to nuclear weapons. Israel insists it may attend the Nuclear Free Middle East summit in 2012, but as it is under NPT auspicies it seems they will be little more than an observer and likely spoiler.