IAEA Refuses to Urge Israel to Join Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

After Close Vote, Unanimously Calls on Whole Region to Join

Reflecting the rather bizarre way the International Atomic Energy Agency’s meetings tend to go, the conference failed in a 58-47 vote to urge Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). They then unanimously voted in favor of materially the same thing.

After spurning the Syria-backed resolution, the IAEA voted 117-0 in favor of an Egypt version that called on “all states in the region” to join the NPT. Israel is the only nation in the entire region that is not a member of the NPT, so it effectively urges the exact same thing, just avoiding mentioning Israel by name.

There is a bizarre disconnect between nuclear policy toward “the Middle East” and toward Israel as the only country in the Middle East with nuclear arms, a fact the Obama Administration similarly stumbled over in 2010.

At that time, during the NPT’s own conference, the United States signed and loudly endorsed a call for a “nuclear free Middle East.” When it was pointed out after the conference that this meant Israel, the only nuclear-armed nation, the State Department issued a statement of “deep regret” over the deal, complaining it unfairly singled out Israel.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.