VIENNA, Austria (AP) – Arab nations on Friday failed to get a vote on a resolution labeling Israel’s nuclear capabilities a threat at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s annual meeting.

The draft resolution, which also called upon Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, was blocked from going to a vote by Israel’s allies and other nations.

The final session of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency’s weeklong meeting did pass a separate resolution calling on all Middle Eastern nations to accept IAEA safeguards and take steps toward the establishment of a nuclear weapons free zone.

The measure calling Israel’s program a threat, was co-sponsored by Iran. It was kept from going to a vote after 45 nations backed a motion by the Canadian delegate to adjourn the debate Friday evening.

Israel neither confirms nor denies its nuclear status, but is considered to be the only nation in the region with nuclear weapons.

Among those supporting the effort to block the vote were the United States, Israel, France, Germany, Britain and Finland – which was at the conference on behalf of the European Union.

Arab nations at the annual conference have regularly threatened to submit such a resolutions, but in past years have opted instead to voice their concerns about Israel’s nuclear program through a statement from the conference president, which carries less weight than a resolution.

The last time such a resolution was submitted at the annual IAEA conference was in 1991. It passed.

The draft resolution was submitted earlier this week by 15 nations: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.