Israel on Saturday rejected as “flawed and hypocritical” a declaration by signatories of a global anti-nuclear arms treaty that urged it to sign the pact and make its atomic facilities subject to U.N. inspections.
All 189 parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including the United States, on Friday called for a conference in 2012 to discuss banning weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Their declaration singled out Israel.
“As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this conference, which has no authority over Israel,” the Israeli government said in a statement. “Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation.”
The 28-page declaration said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and key states would arrange a conference that would include all nations in the region, by implication including bitter enemies Israel and Iran.
Israel is presumed to have a sizable nuclear arsenal but neither confirms nor denies it. It is the only Middle East state that has not signed the NPT and, like fellow non-members India and Pakistan, did not take part in the review conference.
U.S. officials, irked by efforts to single out Israel, made it clear that the proposal might go nowhere, saying the Middle East could not be declared WMD-free until broad Arab-Israeli peace prevailed and Iran curbed its uranium enrichment program.
Alluding to this point, the Israeli statement said: “This resolution is deeply flawed and hypocritical. It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world.”
Iran was not mentioned in the NPT declaration.
Israel and Western powers suspect that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons capability because it had concealed nuclear activity from the watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency and continues to restrict IAEA access.
Tehran says it is enriching uranium only to generate electricity and isotopes for agriculture and medical treatment.
The Israeli statement said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would discuss the NPT declaration with President Obama when the two leaders meet Tuesday at the White House.