Member states of the U.N. atomic agency adopted a resolution on Friday calling on all countries in the Middle East to join a global anti-nuclear treaty, after a debate that highlighted deep divisions between Israel and Arab states.
Israel and the United States abstained in the vote on the Egyptian-proposed text, entitled “Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East”, while most others backed it at the annual member state meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Israel is widely believed to harbor the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, drawing frequent Arab and Iranian condemnation. The Jewish state is the only Middle East country outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Israel and the United States regard Iran – and to a lesser extent Syria – as the Middle East’s main proliferation threats, accusing Tehran of seeking to develop a nuclear arms capability in secret.