In this project, I will explore the Middle East members and their commitment to the Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (ME NWFZ) as well as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This study also looks at the cultural, political, and economical differences between members with special emphasis on Israel and Iran. In addition to researching current Non-Proliferation Treaty agreements among other parts of the globe, this study also looks at the historical background of the NPT leading up to present times. Taking into consideration the major differences between these states, how can the Middle East region establish an agreement on a nuclear-free zone policy? The general differences along with the challenges and prospects with promoting a nuclear-free zone, inquires more research to better understand the issue(s).
Introduction and Historical Background
Nuclear weapons dated back to the 1940’s when the first ever bomb was used by the United States on Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb used on Hiroshima is considered small compared today’s nuclear weapon capabilities. Nuclear weapons today are eight to forty times stronger than the first weapon. Perhaps the most interesting is that the Soviet Union was the first to come up with the idea of states signing Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agreement. Dr. Rabah (2010), researcher and Palestinian delegator to the Arms Control and Regional Security (ACRS) states, “The Origins of the NPT go back to 1959, when Ireland imposed a draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly, calling upon the nuclear power states to refrain from supplying nuclear weapons and technology to non-nuclear states” (2010). Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is split into pillars they are, non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear energy. Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) states with known nuclear weapons consist of 5 key states, China, France, Soviet Union (Russian Federation), United Kingdom, and the United States. All members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. In addition to being primary members of the U.N. the states made agreements not to use nuclear weapons on other non-nuclear states (NWS) unless responding to an attack or an attack on another allied member. The second pillar represents disarmament of nuclear weapons which is mentioned in Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Article VI is a statement made in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that basically outlines the states the right to negotiate agreement of nuclear weapons and programs. Finally the third pillar gives the states the right to exercise peaceful use of nuclear energy. The perfect example of a state claiming to promote peaceful nuclear energy exploration is Iran. At the same time Iran government leaders make threats that “Israel needs to be wiped off the map.” The example just emphasizes that Iran is not capable of being a trusted member of any Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or any other international security program. The tension between states in the Middle East on their nuclear programs has been ongoing for years now, and the likelihood of anything improving in the region has its doubts from numerous professionals. Compared to other regions with Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZ) the Middle East region has no agreement between members. What are the implications for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East and is that even possible? To get a better understanding of a possible nuclear-free zone in the Middle East we must visit the past, while better understanding the present to prepare for the future. A nuclear-free zone in the Middle dates back to the late 1950’s, when many nations signed the Non-Proliferation, except for Israel. Nuclear Weapons Free Zone or (NWFZ) can describe by Paul J. Magnarella (2008) as, “…NWFZ is a populated region whose member states...