The UN general assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Monday urging Israel to open its well-known but often denied nuclear programme for inspection.
The resolution was approved by a vote of 174-6 with six abstentions and called on Israel to join the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT) "without further delay" and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Unsurprisingly, those voting No were Israel, the US, Canada, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.
Resolutions adopted by the 193-member general assembly are not legally binding but reflect world opinion and carry moral and political weight.
Israel has always refused to confirm or deny it has nuclear weapons, although its existence is widely known.
It has refused to join the (NPT).
An Arab proposal to create a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East and to press Israel to give up its undeclared arsenal was endorsed at an NPT conference in 1995 but never acted on.
In 2010, the 189 parties to the 1970 treaty called for a conference in 2012 on the establishment of a Middle East WMD-free zone.
The resolution was approved by the assembly's disarmament committee.
All the Arab nations had planned to attend the conference in Helsinki, but the US announced on November 23 that it wouldn't take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran's defiant stance on non-proliferation.
Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel's refusal to attend.
Iranian diplomat Khodadad Seifi told the assembly: "The truth is that the Israeli regime is the only party which rejected a conference."
He called for "strong pressure on that regime to participate in the conference without any preconditions."
Syrian diplomat Abdullah Hallak told the assembly his government was angry that the conference wasn't going to take place because of "the whim of just one party, a party with nuclear warheads."
"We call on the international community to press Israel to accept the NPT and get rid of its arsenal in order to allow peace and stability in our region," he said.
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