Arab states to censure Israel’s nuclear policies at IAEA conference

Arab countries plan to criticize Israel for not joining the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its nuclear policies at the annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

IAEA meeting in Vienna

In June, 17 Arab members of the nuclear agency asked for the “Israeli Nuclear Capabilities” issue to be put on the agenda of the IAEA annual general conference. The conference is due to begin on September 17 with the participation of the agency’s 154 members.

It is not clear, however, whether they will propose a non-binding resolution urging Israel to join the NPT. Israel has escaped such a resolution since 2009 with the help of the US and its allies that argued signaling out Tel Aviv would destroy any hope of creating a nuclear free Middle East.

Western envoys to the IAEA are once again trying to persuade Arab states not to censure Israel over its nuclear policies at the agency’s annual conference.

Jordanian Ambassador to the IAEA Makram Queisi says Israel is thwarting “all initiatives to free the region of the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction, and in particular of nuclear weapons.” Queisi added that Tel Aviv is exposing the Middle East “to nuclear risks and threatening peace” by refusing to open its nuclear facilities to international inspection.

Israel is widely believed to be the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Pursuing a nuclear ambiguity policy, Tel Aviv refuses to sign the NPT, under which it would have to dismantle its nuclear arsenal.