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U.S. Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher told a treaty review conference that Washington would work with countries in region to organize a successful conference on creating a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
But she said the U.S. ability to do that "has been seriously jeopardized because the final document (approved by treaty signatories) singles out Israel in the Middle East section, a fact that the United States deeply regrets."
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
Earlier Obama rejects 'singling out' of Israel in NPT deal, US president says agreement reached at Non-Proliferation Treaty conference 'includes balanced, practical steps to advance nuclear disarmament', but opposes 'efforts to single out Israel' by naming it while ignoring Iran.
Israel declared late Saturday that it would not take part in a 2012 conference on establishing a nuclear-free Middle East — an Arab-led initiative backed by top ally U.S. and the 188 other signatories to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Although a series of U.S. conditions put the conference in doubt, the resolution, and the surprising U.S. support it received, added new pressure on Israel to give up what is almost universally believed to be a sizable nuclear arsenal. Israel refuses to confirm or deny the suspicions.