Chapter 7 Iran’s challenge to thenuclear order
hree nations in the Middle East dominate any present-day discussion o nuclear weapons, yet only one is subjected to an unprecedented degreeo international scrutiny. wo have nuclear weapons; the third does not. Yetit is the third nation that is widely considered the threat to world peace andthe target o ever increasing economic sanctions.Te rst nuclear weapon state in the Middle East is Israel, an “unde-clared” nuclear power whose of cial policy is to reuse to acknowledge itspossession o at least sixty to eighty plutonium weapons, and possibly asmany as our hundred.
Israel never signed the nuclear Non-Prolierationreaty (NP) and is not subject to any verication measures by the Interna-tional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Aided by its close linkages with theUnited States, Israel’s nuclear weapons programme is shielded rom any in-ternational oversight. It steadastly reuses to participate in any conventionsmeant to address its own nuclear stockpile.Te second nuclear weapon state o consequence in Middle Eastern a-airs is, o course, the United States, the preeminent nuclear superpower.American bases and troop deployments are spread across the region, oper-ating under the auspices o the largest o its overseas military establishments,Central Command (Centcom). US bases in this region with nuclear-capableorces or that support nuclear missions include Incirlik in urkey, DiegoGarcia in the Indian Ocean, and Bahrain. Te US Fih Fleet is more-or-lesspermanently deployed at the Persian Gul, and routinely includes at least
Michael Veiluva has been general counsel to the Western States Legal Foundation(WSLF) since 1985. Tis article builds upon and updates the author’s book,
Burdenso Proo: Iran, the United States and Nuclear Weapons
(2009). Te text is updated totake into account urther developments in Iranian-US relations and the aermatho the 2009 elections in the Islamic Republic o Iran. Te author was assisted in theproduction o
Burdens o Proo
by WSLF executive director Jacqueline Cabasso,WSLF policy analyst Andrew Lichterman, and Lawyers Committee on NuclearPolicy executive director Dr. John Burroughs.