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 for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.