High-level diplomatic talks between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East about the proliferation of nuclear weapons have been called off due to “unstable conditions” in the region, according to diplomats who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
The meeting was supposed to be held later this year in Helsinki with the 189 members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including Iran, Syria and Libya. The conference date was originally agreed upon in 2010.
The possibility that Iran will develop a functioning nuclear weapon was a major issue in the recently concluded American presidential election campaign. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had repeatedly challenged President Barack Obama’s plan to thwart the country’s nuclear ambitions.
“Iran today has never been closer to a nuclear weapons capability,” Romney said during one of the presidential debates. “And it has never acted less deterred by America.”
President Obama denied that Iran was closer to a nuclear bomb.
“As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon,” Obama said.