Starting with a brief history of this WMDFZ proposal, we thus survey the legal and political obstacles that have so far blocked the establishment of a WMDFZ in the Middle East.
The Proposal for a WMDFZ in the Middle East and Its History
Indeed, Israel's concept of "peace first and denuclearization last" was vindicated in the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty, which speaks of a WMDFZ as a goal "to be achieved in the context of a comprehensive, lasting and stable peace."
There might be no better formula for progress towards a WMDFZ in the Middle East than a return to the ACRS concept, whereby two parallel tracks move toward a comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace along the lines of the Arab Peace Initiative, and to the establishment of a WMDFZ in the region.
It would nevertheless be a good idea to differentiate between the highly negative conditions under which the idea of a conference on a Middle East WMDFZ
was raised and pushed forward of late, and the idea itself -- which is not necessarily negative.
Another Arab analyst said that he doubted there could be the establishment of a WMDFZ in the Middle East under current political conditions.
Will there be a Gulf WMDFZ similar to the Middle East WMDFZ stipulated in the article of U.N.
Egypt would like Israel to sign the NPT or adhere to a WMDFZ
regardless of the lack of progress on the peace front.
To draw a road map toward the establishment of a WMDFZ
in the Middle East, this article draws on lessons from previous experiences, especially the European Atomic Energy Community Treaty, in establishing a regional cooperation framework.
In November 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency for a WMDFZ
in the Middle East held a two-day meeting.
In a broader sense, the outcome of the nuclear negotiations with Iran will have a profound impact on nuclear nonproliferation, a nuclear weapons-free zone (NWFZ), and a zone free of nuclear weapons and of other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems (WMDFZ
) in the Middle East.
In 1990, President Mubarak of Egypt--often a mediator between Israel and the Muslim world--got agreement to expand the NWFZ proposal into a weapons of mass destruction free zone (WMDFZ
), the first of its kind in the world.