The Obstacles to a Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone

  • Gerald M. Steinberg


It is increasingly clear that progress towards the goal of a nuclearweapon-free world, as outlined in the Report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons,1 will require a series of regional agreements and frameworks that go beyond the scope of existing frameworks. The nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZ) that have been negotiated and implemented in Latin America, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and, most recently, Africa, provide examples. Other areas in which multifaceted regional approaches will be required include South Asia, the Korean peninsula and the Middle East.


Middle East Nuclear Weapon Verification System Peace Treaty Peace Process 
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  1. 2.
    See, for example, Jan Prawitz and James F. Leonard, A Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East (Geneva: UNIDIR, 1996).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Ibid., pp. 63–5. These issues are also considered in Shalhevet Freier, ‘A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East and Effective Verification’, Disarmament: A Periodic Review by the United Nations 16: 3 (1993), pp. 66–91.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    For a detailed history of the role of the United Nations in this issue, see Mahmoud Karem, A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East: Problems and Prospects (New York: Greenwood, 1988);Google Scholar
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    There is a vast literature debating the role of deterrence, particularly during the Cold War. For one of the most comprehensive critiques, see Richard N. Lebow and Janice G. Stein, We All Lost the Cold War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994).Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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  • Gerald M. Steinberg

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