JERUSALEM, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Israel would not join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) despite high pressure, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday.
"There is no room to pressure Israel to join the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty," Barak was quoted by local daily Ha'aretz as saying.
Speaking at a memorial service for fallen Israeli soldiers, Barak said "Israel has never threatened to annihilate other nations and peoples, while today Iran, and also Syria, Libya and Iraq in the past, all of whom signed this treaty, have systematically violated its stipulations while explicitly threatening Israel's existence."
The U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged all countries, including Israel, to sign the NPT, after the Nuclear Security Summit ended.
Israel is among only a few countries that are not parties to the NPT, and is expected to be the only Middle East country in possession of nuclear weapons. Yet it abides by a policy of " nuclear ambiguity," neither confirming nor denying the assumption.
Meanwhile, Israel has long been accusing Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons and thus posing an existential threat to Israel, and has been urging the international community to impose crippling sanctions upon the Islamic republic. The Jewish state also refused to rule out the possibility of launching military attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a planned trip to Washington for the U.S.-hosted nuclear summit, out of concerns that Muslim states would use the meeting to press Israel to sign the NPT.