Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Green Peace and the Middle East

Written by admin on August 2nd, 2009

The Carnegie Endowment completed in April a wide ranging conference on nuclear non-proliferation entitle “The Nuclear Order – Build or Break” which included a short analysis by Dr. Sameh Aboul-Enein, Deputy Head of Mission at the Egyptian Embassy in London.  Dr. Aboul-Enein urged the formation of a summit for a Nuclear Free World as an avenue for achieving universal compliance with the non-proliferation treaty (NPT).  He noted that a 1995 NTP Review Conference resolution called on the Middle East to be a nuclear weapons free zone, that all states in the region acceded to the NPT and that all nuclear facilities be placed under full IAEA safeguards. He urged that the 2010 Review Conference appoint a Special Coordinator to implement the resolution by facilitating a dialogue leading to a conference in the Middle East addressing regional security and a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

Talk of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East typically often is seen as a canard by Israel and its supporters to strip Israel of its nuclear weapons. A tremor went through Israel in May when the U.S. assistant secretary of state for verification and compliance stated at a U.N. meeting that Israel should join the NPT.  This suggested that the Obama administration may no longer be willing to continue the traditional U.S. policy of acquiescing to Israel’s noncompliance with international nuclear safeguards. But such concerns may have been overblown.

Widespread concern over Iran’s nuclear program inevitably has raised fears of nuclear weapons proliferation in the Middle East; ignoring Israel’s nuclear weapons stockpile is no longer a credible policy for NPT advocates. Greenpeace has taken a leading position within the nongovernmental community on calling for realistic steps to turn the Middle East into a nuclear free zone.  Its 2007 position paper outlined general steps that could begin this process.  The proposal dovetailed with another Greenpeace policy statement on sustainable and clean energy in the Middle East.

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1 Comments so far ↓

  1. hass says:

    Iran has been calling for a nuclear weapons free zone in the Mideast since the 1970s. The Shah first raised the issue, and later Iran and Egypt both sponsored a resolution in the UN General Assembly. Iranian officials have repeatedly endorsed the idea since then.

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