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September 20, 2013
A proposed resolution to place all of Israel’s nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, was defeated 51-43 with 32 abstentions Friday at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s annual general conference, according to AFP. The resolution, proposed by Arab states and supported by Iran, was debated at a conference meeting where all 159 IAEA members were present. Almost all members were said to have expressed concern about Israel’s current exemption from IAEA protocol prior to the resolution’s narrow defeat.
Though Israel is a member of the IAEA, it is not subject to any IAEA inspections, with the exception of one small research center. The Jewish state is also not a signatory to the landmark Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
Previous efforts to pass the same resolution have yielded mixed results, with its last narrow defeat happening at the 2010 annual meeting.
Within hours of the IAEA vote, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz announced that “time has run out” for negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program, according to Reuters. The Minister stated that Iran will have bomb capabilities within the next six months. Though previous statements from Israeli leaders have suggested “all options are on the table” when negotiating with Iran, Steinitz’s statements have suggested that such a phrase may no longer hold true in the upcoming weeks and months.