UAE. The UAE has been elected to the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The appointment of new board members is one of the key agenda items of the International Atomic Energy Agency's annual general conference, with 11 seats up for grabs this year.
In a statement released on the UAE's official news agency WAM, Hamad Ali Al Kaabi, the permanent representative of the UAE to the UN's nuclear watchdog, described his country's selection to the board as a significant step.
Expressing his pleasure about the selection of the UAE, Al Kaabi said "the move also coincides with the steps taken by the UAE in terms of its peaceful nuclear energy, which depends on the transparency, clarity and commitment to the highest standards of safety and security".
According to the complicated allocation procedure, six regional groups are allotted a specific number of seats. And this year, two positions were open to the so-called MESA (Middle East and South Asia) group of which Iran is a member.
Diplomats said that Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Iran had all eyed a seat, but Tehran decided to drop out when it emerged that it would not be able to secure sufficient support.
The assembly subsequently approved the allocation of the two seats to Jordan and the UAE.
Iran's candidacy would certainly have run into fierce opposition from Western countries given the fact that the IAEA has been investigating the Islamic republic's nuclear programme for the past eight years.
Two years ago, Syria was also dropped a bid for a seat on the board in the face of Western opposition, because it, too, is under investigation by the IAEA.