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Towards a WMD-free zone in the Middle East
International concern has been focused on Iran’s uranium enrichment program and Tehran’s potential and intention to develop nuclear weapons. In the Middle East, many leaders and constituencies are worried about the officially unacknowledged nuclear arsenal of Israel, as well as potential future capabilities in other countries.
This project focuses on diplomacy surrounding nuclear programs in the Middle East, with an approach that acknowledges the resolution to the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program can only be reached if the security concerns of Iran and Israel, and other countries in the region, are addressed in a way that avoids perceptions of double-standards. One step in this path is a proposal that already has received formal international support: a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. Work on establishing the zone was a key condition for the indefinite extention of the NPT in 1995, but little was achieved until the 2010 NPT Review Conference agreed to hold a conference on the issue in 2012.
BASIC has consulted, and published reports on the issue, and started a project in 2010 to build support in the context of the 2012 conference, partly funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and The Prospect Hill Foundation.