Nuclear Proliferation and Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones in the Mediterranean and Middle East
There is a danger of nuclear proliferation in the area. More especially, until it joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty Libya openly but vainly shopped for bombs. But I doubt that this switch in declaratory stance amounts to a change of intent. Israel is alleged to have a nuclear weapon potential the consummation of which depends on a political decision. Irrespective of the near universal criticism of the destruction of the TAMUZ I reactor near Baghdad by Israel, no satisfactory explanation has been given for Iraq’s initial request to France for a plutonium-producing 500 megawatt natural uranium gas-graphite reactor, or for Iraq’s readiness to accept one of the largest research reactors in the world, when denied the initial choice. I do not know whether the Iraqis would have been able to mount a nuclear weapon within five years of reactor start-up as claimed by Israel, but I find it difficult to believe that anything but a nuclear military potential was the principal purpose of the purchases and programme.
KeywordsMiddle East Nuclear Weapon Regional Arrangement Arab State Nuclear Programme
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