(Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)
Israel's nuclear reactor at Nahal Sorek

The IAEA voted down an Arab-Iranian proposal to force nuclear inspections of Israel. Israel considers nuclear ambiguity an important part of its national self-defense.

The IAEA General Assembly voted 61-43 yesterday against forcing inspections of Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona.

The proposal was political in nature, submitted by Egypt and supported by Iran, Syria, Iraq and Libya for the IAEA’s 59th General Conference.

Israel maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity as part of its defense strategy. Article continues below…

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This year’s proposal was not the first time that countries hostile to Israel have called for nuclear inspections, but it was unique due to the context of the Iranian nuclear deal.

Israel maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither confirming nor denying that it possesses nuclear weapons. The purpose of this policy is to give pause to enemy states that seek to destroy Israel. As a result, Israel is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and not subject to nuclear inspections.


PM Netanyahu. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

The Israeli Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached out to dozens of countries to encourage them to vote against the Egyptian proposal.

“I have spoken directly with over 30 presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers. I explained that there was no place to hold a discussion of this kind as long as the main problem in the Middle East is Iran’s efforts to arm itself with nuclear weapons and its clear declarations regarding its intention to destroy the State of Israel. I welcome the fact that the gap in Israel’s favor was significantly larger than the votes in previous years. I thank all those countries that supported Israel, especially the US, Australia and Canada. I thank the EU for voting as a single bloc in favor of Israel against the decision,” Netanyahu said in an official statement after the vote.

IAEA Director General

IAEA Head Yukiya Amano speaks at the 59th General Conference. (IAEA)

Ze’ev Snir, the head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Agency, cautioned the economic committee of the IAEA General Assembly against attempting to force inspections ahead of the vote. “If the resolution passes, it will only hurt the credibility of the IAEA by politicizing the organization and reducing its valuable resources,” he said.

Snir insisted that “This debate has been forced upon the economic committee year after year and most of the member states have understood this after voting down these proposals three times in recent years.”

By: Sara Abramowicz, United with Israel