Nonproliferation and the Middle East   [open pdf - 94KB]

This paper on the importance of the Middle East in nonproliferation issues was released at the 2007 NPT Prepatory Committee in Vienna, Austria, in 2007. "The Middle East has long been an important subject of discussion in NPT fora. […]. Discussions at the 2004 NPT Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting and the 2005 [NPT Review Conference (REVCON)] focused in large part upon the noncompliance challenges facing the NPT and the nuclear nonproliferation regime from the secret, two-decade-long Iranian nuclear program that was first publicly revealed in 2002. In addition, revelations about the existence of an illicit nuclear proliferation network run by A.Q. Khan, which -- although fortunately now defunct -- provided fissile material production technology and nuclear weapons-related design information to both Libya and Iran, help underscore the dangers of proliferation in the Middle East. Today, Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability present a tremendous challenge to peace and stability in the Middle East, to hopes of achieving NPT universality, to efforts to prevent a regional nuclear arms race, and to the prospects of fulfilling the disarmament objectives expressed in the Preamble and Article VI of the Treaty. For these and other reasons, the Middle East will continue to be an important and legitimate focus of discussions during the current NPT review cycle, which will culminate in the RevCon of 2010."

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