What might happen if States Parties from one of the most volatile regions in the world were to reconsider their membership of the principle international treaty that controls the deadliest weapons on Earth? Almost 20 years since the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), members of the Arab League have threatened to reconsider their position toward that extension on the basis that there has been no progress on the 1995 resolution associated with establishing a Middle East Zone free from weapons of mass destruction. This resolution was considered as part of the political deal to extend the Treaty indefinitely, ensuring the success of the NPT review process is closely associated with achieving progress on the Zone’s establishment.
This briefing is published in advance of the UN First Committee in October 2014 at which member states will be discussing key issues such as the Helsinki Conference and nuclear proliferation in the Middle East as well as announcing the Chair of next year’s NPT Review Conference. It reports on the perspectives and expectations of Arab and Iranian officials toward the 2015 NPT Review Conference, drawing from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including in-person interviews with representatives from Egypt, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Iran.
This report, written by Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow Lianet Vazquez, is intended to convey official Arab and Iranian positions and the rationale behind them, not to offer a comprehensive analysis of the prospects for progress or pass judgment on the balance between these and other perspectives.