The Case For a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East

  • Ibrahim A. Karawan


The fact that the Middle East lags behind Latin America, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and Africa with regard to the creation of a regional nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) is not surprising. Anyone familiar with the acute complexity of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its protracted nature, as well as its multi-dimensional levels and the historical legacies created by that conflict, will not find it difficult to understand why. The obstacles facing regional actors in reaching a consensus with regard to issues which have been settled in other parts of the developed and less developed worlds are numerous, and the confidence between the parties to overcome these obstacles is seriously lacking.


Middle East Nuclear Weapon Gulf Cooperation Council Chemical Weapon Gulf Cooperation Council Country 
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  1. 1.
    John Brook Wolfsthal, ‘Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones: Coming of Age?’, Arms Control Today 23 (March 1993), p. 7.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Shai Feldman, Israeli Nuclear Deterrence (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982);Google Scholar
  3. Benjamin Frankel, Opaque Nuclear Proliferation (London: Frank Cass, 1991);Google Scholar
  4. Etel Solingen, ‘The Domestic Sources of Regional Regimes: The Evolution of Nuclear Ambiguity in the Middle East’, International Studies Quarterly 38 (June 1994), pp. 305–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 3.
    On the Egyptian position see Mahmoud Karem, A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East: Problems and Prospects (New York: Greenwood, 1988).Google Scholar
  6. Mohamed Shaker, Prospects for Establishing a Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, October 1994).Google Scholar
  7. 4.
    See some interesting ideas in Efraim Karsh and Yezid Sayigh, ‘A Cooperative Approach to Arab—Israeli Security’, Survival 36 (Spring 1994), pp. 121–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ibrahim A. Karawan

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