WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The United Nations wants Israel to open up its nuclear program for inspection.
The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution by a vote of 174-6, with six abstentions, calling on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty “without further delay” and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The countries that voted “no” included the United States, Israel, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.
Israel has never revealed that it has nuclear weapons, though it is believed the Jewish state does.
According to CBS News, Israel has refused to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty along with three nuclear weapon states in India, North Korea and Pakistan.
The General Assembly also backed a now-cancelled conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East.
Muslim countries blame Israel for the cancellation of the conference that was supposed to take place in Helsinki, Finland, this month.
“The truth is that the Israeli regime is the only party which rejected to conditions for a conference,” Iranian diplomat Khodadad Seifi told the assembly, according to The Associated Press, calling for “strong pressure on that regime to participate in the conference without any preconditions.”
Israeli diplomat Isi Yanouka said challenging Israel does not help Mideast stability.
“All these cases challenge Israel’s security and cast a dark shadow at the prospect of embarking on a meaningful regional security process,” he said, according to the AP. “The fact that the sponsors include in this anti-Israeli resolution language referring to the 2012 conference proves above all the ill-intent of the Arab states with regard to this conference.”
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted that they will carry out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities if Tehran doesn’t stop building a nuclear weapon. Iranian officials claim that their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)