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A Middle East free of nuclear weapons: possible, probable or pipe-dream?

Authors

  • PATRICIA M. LEWIS

    1. Research Director, International Security at Chatham House. Her former posts include Deputy Director and Scientist-in-Residence at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Director of UNIDIR, and Director of VERTIC in London.
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Abstract

This article provides an overview of the attempts to address a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)-free zone in the Middle East as mandated by the 2010 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. The article outlines regional nuclear programmes in Egypt, Israel, Iran, Iraq and Syria, and the evolution of nuclear weapon-free zones and NPT politics. The article further proposes a set of recommendations for what might constitute a nuclear weapon-free zone treaty, including interim measures that would support the establishment of the Middle East WMD-free zone, drawing on historical precedent from relevant cases.

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