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IAEA presses Israel to sign NPT

6 May 2010 0:20

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano has urged member states to find a way to implement the 2009 resolution on Israel.

In a letter, Amano asked the foreign ministers of the 151 member states to share their views on how to persuade Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and open up its nuclear facilities for inspection.

Amid renewed criticism of Israel from Islamic countries during the NPT review conference, which is currently underway at UN Headquarters in New York, Amano’s letter, which came to light on Wednesday, will definitely increase the pressure on Israel to fully disclose its unacknowledged nuclear arsenal.

On Tuesday, Islamic nations used the second day of the conference to call for the Middle East to be declared a nuclear weapons-free zone.

The Islamic countries also criticized Israel for not divulging its nuclear capabilities and refusing to sign the NPT.

Amano has asked member countries for advice on how best to persuade Israel to allow IAEA oversight of its nuclear facilities.

Amano’s April 7 letter came seven months after an IAEA annual conference, during which member states narrowly passed a resolution directly criticizing Israel and its nuclear program, with 49 of the 110 nations present voting in favor of the resolution, 45 voting against, and 16 abstaining.

The result was a setback not only for Israel but also for Washington and other supporters of the Zionist regime, which had successfully lobbied for 18 years to ensure that there was never a vote on a resolution against Israel, despite intense debate on the issue.

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