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Dimona reactor
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Israel: NPT deal hypocritical
Jerusalem sources wonder why Israel only state mentioned in Non-Proliferation Treaty conference, which called for inspection of its nuclear facilities. Iran pleased with decision, says US must toe line in backing it

Sources in Jerusalem on Saturday criticized as "hypocritical" the Nuclear Non-Proliferation conference that ended with a declaration placing Israel under obligation to have its nuclear facilities inspected by the UN's watchdog.

 

"The conference mentioned only Israel and not other countries that hold nuclear weapons, such as India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Much worse is its silence on Iran, which is trying to obtain such weapons," one official said.

 

He added that the fact that Iran was not mentioned was suspicious, especially in light of recent findings by the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding the Islamic Republic's progress towards acquiring nuclear power.

 

Meanwhile Iran's representative to the IAEA on Saturday hailed the declaration, and said the US must go along with it.

 

The accord, reached on Friday at the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference and agreed by the NPT's 189 members, commits to holding a regional gathering in 2012 to create a Middle East free of nuclear weapons.

 

It also calls on Israel to sign the treaty, mentioning "the importance of Israel's accession to the treaty and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards."

 

Iran's IAEA representative Ali Asghar Soltanieh, who attended the conference at the United Nations, welcomed the move. Soltanieh told IRNA that the United States, despite opposing the NPT text on Israel, will have to fall in line with other countries.

 

"The US reservation is symbolic and it is obliged to go along with the world's request, which is that Israel must join the NPT and open its installations to IAEA inspectors," he said.

 

Earlier US President Barack Obama welcomed the accord but "strongly" opposed singling Israel out over talks on a nuclear weapons-free Middle East while making no mention of Iran.

 

"The greatest threat to proliferation in the Middle East, and to the NPT, is Iran's failure to live up to its NPT obligations," Obama said.

 

But Soltanieh dismissed the US stance. "Of course this was to be expected, since (US Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton made such during the inaugural session (of the NPT meeting) and several times later," he said.

 

"The Americans are isolating themselves since Iran's nuclear file is an (IAEA) agency issue. This conference was about the NPT and its future."

 

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