Israel threatened Thursday to boycott an international conference on a nuclear free Middle East sponsored by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).

Israel demands dropping a paragraph which mentions Israel ’s “nuclear capabilities and threat” from a resolution submitted to the conference by the Arab block.

Several Middle Eastern countries, including Iran , some non-governmental organizations, and a number of independent experts are scheduled to meet on January 2005. The conference is an academic seminar with no binding powers.

Israel said that if the Arab block resolution is dropped, it would vote in favor of another resolution, calling for extending nuclear monitoring in the Middle East .