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A Middle East Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction: How to Achieve It?


by Marc Finaud Special Advisor to the Director, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)
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(International Meeting on Nuclear Energy and Non-proliferation in the Middle East, Cairo, 19-21 October 2010) Abstract Because of protracted conflicts and the availability of resources, the Middle East is one of the most heavily armed regions of the world. Efforts of the international community to curb the proliferation of weapons therein have only been partially successful. Although there is consensus on the aim of establishing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East, opposing approaches have prevented progress towards it. The main obstacles are the linkages with the regional peace process and between WMD and conventional armaments. The only realistic solution lies in incremental, parallel moves in all those areas in order to build confidence and increase mutual security. The 2012 conference to be held as a result of the 2010 Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference offers an opportunity to make significant advances. Contents 1. A Revival of the Middle East WMD-free Zone 2. The Crux of the Matter: Peace First or Disarmament First? 3. The Starting Point: Understanding Threat Perceptions and Security Concerns 4. Agreeing on Basic Principles 5. Increasing Transparency and Confidence 6. The Nexus between WMD and Conventional Arms 7. The Steps Needed to Facilitate the Establishment of a WMD-free Zone 7.1. Conventional Armaments and International Humanitarian Law 7.2. Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Means of Delivery 8. Conclusions
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The author expresses here personal views which do not necessarily represent those of the GCSP or any government. 2 In this paper, the Middle East excludes North Africa but includes Turkey, a key regional country.

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1. A Revival of the Middle East WMD-free Zone

The Review Conference of the States Party to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), held in New York from 3 to 28 May 2010 reaffirmed, in its final document, the importance of the Resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference and recalled the affirmation of its goals and objectives by the 2000 Review Conference. That Resolution had indeed been, according to the 2010 Conference, an essential element of the outcome of the 1995 Conference and of the basis on which the Treaty was indefinitely extended without a vote in 1995. In other words, the authors of that initiative Egypt and other Arab countries had basically agreed to give indefinite force to the NPT in exchange for two calls: one on all States in the Middle East (including Israel, a non-NPT signatory) to take practical steps in appropriate forums aimed at making progress towards, inter alia, the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction [WMD], nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems, and to refrain from taking any measures that preclude the achievement of this objective, and another one on all States party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and in particular the nuclear-weapon States, to extend their cooperation and to exert their utmost efforts with a view to ensuring the early establishment by regional parties of a Middle East zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. Fifteen years after that double call, in view of the results achieved so far, the 2010 Review Conference could understandably regre[t] that little progress ha[d] been achieved towards the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.
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Thus the Conference endorsed some practical steps, among others: the convening, by the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations (UN) and the Depositaries of the NPT (Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States), of a conference, in 2012, to be attended by all States of the Middle East, on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, and the appointment, by the same, of a facilitator, with a mandate to support implementation of the 1995 Resolution by conducting consultations with the States of the region in that regard and undertaking preparations for the convening of the 2012 Conference as well as to assist in implementation of followon steps.
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Will this conference planned for 2012 succeed in achieving or at least launching the process for a Middle East WMD-free zone when so many previous attempts have failed? Which factors that prevented such a project to materialize in the past would disappear in such a short time, and which conditions for
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United Nations, Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference (Parts I and II) (NPT/CONF.2010/50 (Vol. I), p. 29 <http://www.un.org/en/conf/npt/2010/>. 4 United Nations, 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 17 April - 12 May 1995, New York, Resolution on the Middle East <http://disarmament.un.org/wmd/npt/1995RESME.htm>. 5 United Nations, Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, op. cit. 6 Ibid.

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success would miraculously appear? Obviously, no one can answer those questions without taking into consideration the political context, and in particular the state of relations between, on the one hand, Israel and the Arab world, on the other hand Israel and Iran, and thirdly Iran and the Arab Gulf states. In addition, because of its weight and its leading role in the peace process, the attitude of the United States to all the regional protagonists will be critical.

The results of the 2010 Review Conference have been described as a diplomatic success for both Egypt and Iran. The former has succeeded in having Israel mentioned by name in the Final Document. However, it was a mere repetition of the 2000 Review Conference language (The Conference recalls the reaffirmation by the 2000 Review Conference of the importance of Israels accession to the Treaty and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards.) For its part, Iran has succeeded in avoiding being mentioned by name in the sections of the Final Document related to compliance with NPT obligations, in spite of several resolutions of the IAEA and the UN Security Council criticising its behaviour. The Final Document having been adopted by consensus, this is not surprising. However, the agreed language is devoid of any ambiguity; it can certainly be interpreted as a strong disapproval of Tehrans attitude and will offer a clear benchmark for judging its future performance: the full and effective implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the regime of non-proliferation in all its aspects has a vital role in promoting international peace and security
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(the latter being a reference to the role of the Security Council); breaches of the Treatys obligations undermine nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy; States parties

that have concerns regarding non-compliance with the safeguards agreements of the Treaty by the States parties should direct such concerns, along with supporting evidence and information, to IAEA to consider, investigate, draw conclusions and decide on necessary actions in accordance with its mandate
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(this also implies the referral by the IAEA of cases of non-compliance to the Security Council).

Israel has reacted to the plan for a 2012 conference by an outright refusal to attend it. The Israeli government considered the NPT Review Conference Final Document as "deeply flawed and hypocritical, because it ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world. It singles out Israel, the Middle East's only true democracy and the only country threatened with annihilation. Yet the terrorist regime in Iran, which is racing to develop nuclear weapons and which openly

Sheridan, Mary Beth, At Nuclear Conference, U.S. Expects Little, Gains Little, The Washington Post, 31 May 2010 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/30/AR2010053003422.html>.
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United Nations, Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, op. cit., p. 29. Ibid. p. 2. 10 Ibid. p. 3. 11 Ibid.

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threatens to wipe Israel off the map, is not even mentioned in the resolution. Consequently, [g]iven the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation.
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Considering the special relationship that exists between Israel and the United States, President Barack Obama also made a sweeping statement according to which [t]he United States has long supported such a [WMD-free] zone [in the Middle East], although our view is that a comprehensive and durable peace in the region and full compliance by all regional states with their arms control and nonproliferation obligations are essential precursors for its establishment. He added that the US strongly oppose[s] efforts to single out Israel, and will oppose actions that jeopardize Israels national security. The greatest threat to proliferation in the Middle East, and to the NPT, is Irans failure to live up to its NPT obligations.
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This tough reaction was interpreted as a compensation for the naming of Israel in the Final
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Document and motivated both by domestic politics and bilateral relations.

However, other observers

note that, in his celebrated Cairo speech of 4 June 2009, President Obama had clearly said: When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. . . . I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. . . And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal. Although the main target of those words was considered to be Iran, Israel was also included in the phrase all countries of the region. Additionally, the US supported UN Security Council Resolution 1887 of 24 September 2009 in which it [c]alls upon all States that are not Parties to the NPT to accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States so as to achieve its universality at an early date, and pending their accession to the Treaty, to adhere to its terms.
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Although here again Israel is not mentioned by name, it is doubtless that the call is also

addressed to it.

It is of course premature to think that the Obama administration is about to reverse the long-standing American policy regarding Israels nuclear capacity, described by some as dont ask, dont tell.
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main objective of Washington in the short term, as outlined in the Cairo speech, is to achieve positive results in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and this may already entail some pressure on Israel. As Gary Samore, the Presidents main adviser on Arms Control, told Arab delegates at the IAEA General Conference in order to defuse a new resolution singling out Israel, such a move could not

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Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Statement by the Government of Israel on NPT Review Conference Middle East Resolution, 29 May 2010 <http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2010/Statement_Government_Israel_NPT_Review_Confere nce_29-May-2010.htm?WBCMODE=PresentationUnp?DisplayMode=print>. 13 The White House, Statement by the President on the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, 30 May 2010 < http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/statement-president-non-proliferation-treaty-review-conference>. 14 Lake, Eli. Israel assails resolution on nuke weapons as 'flawed', The Washington Times, 28 May 2010 <http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/30/deeply-flawed-nukes-conference-concerns-netanyahu/>. 15 US Department of State, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1887, 24 September 2009 <http://www.america.gov/st/texttrans-english/2009/September/20090924173226ihecuor0.5509411.html>. 16 Williams, Dan. US Keeps Nuclear Don't Ask, Don't Tell -Israel Aide, Reuters, 29 May 2009 <http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLL942309>.

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only contribute to failure of the peace talks but also jeopardize the planned 2012 conference.
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Israel

expressed satisfaction that the resolution was eventually voted down: The Arab group ignored a request by the President of the United States to strike the resolution from the agenda, so as not to adversely affect the peace process.
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The Crux of the Matter: Peace First or Disarmament First?

The relationship between, on the one hand, the project of a Middle East WMD-free zone and, on the other hand, the prospect of a peace agreement between Israel and all the other states of the region, including the creation of an independent Palestinian State, has nurtured much debate and literature. The Israeli position, as expressed ritually at the General Assembly when the consensus resolution on such a zone is adopted, is that a comprehensive agreement must precede the establishment of the zone. For instance, in 2009, according to a UN Press Statement, the Israeli delegate said that establishing the Middle East as a weapon-of-mass-destruction-free zone was a vision to which Israel aspired. . . Essential progress must be made through mutual recognition before such a zone could be attained. The creation of such a zone should emanate within the region. Matching political will must be demonstrated. Dialogue, taking into account viewpoints of all States, must take place. . . Israel had not abandoned a vision where negotiations were possible over a nuclear-weapon-free zone, but only when all States took part in discussions could its realization be possible.
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As we have seen, this position is supported by the United

States (refer to President Obamas statement above).

For its part, the European Union (EU) has expressed support for the establishment of a zone free of WMD in the Middle East and has unequivocally called Israel to accede to the NPT while recognizing in more veiled terms the indirect link with the peace process: We continue to support the decisions and the implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference as well as the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference, and shall bear in mind the current situation. We continue to work towards the universality of the NPT and call once again those States not yet party to the NPT to join the treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States, and, pending their accession to the NPT, to adhere to its terms and pledge commitments to non-proliferation and disarmament.
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Jahn, George. U.S. Urges Arabs not to Pressure Israel, Washington Times, 15 September 2010 <http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/15/us-urges-arabs-not-to-pressure-israel/>. 18 th Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Resolution by the 54 General Conference of the IAEA Israels Response, 24 September 2010 < http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/MFA+Spokesman/2010/Resolution-by-the-54thGeneral-Conference-of-the-IAEA+Israels-Response-24-Sep-2010.htm>. 19 United Nations, General Assembly, Gravely Concerned at Possible Nuclear Weapons Use, First Committee Draft Resolution Calls on States to Prevent Proliferation, Promote Disarmament, GA/DIS/3399, 27 October 2009 <http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2009/gadis3399.doc.htm>. 20 United Nations, Office for Disarmament Affairs, 2010 NPT Review Conference, Statement by Ms Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, 3 May 2010 <www.un.or/en/conf/npt/2010/statements/pdf/eu_en.pdf>.

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The Representative of France to the 2010 NPT Review Conference was even more straightforward, although his first remark applied not only to the Middle East but to the other regions as well: Tangible progress towards disarmament and the elimination of nuclear weapons can only be achieved in the long run, beyond emphatic statements of good intention, through a comprehensive strategy covering the resolution of regional tensions and enhancement of collective security mechanisms, in addition to the action plans we are calling for. . . We understand the frustration felt by many countries over the slow implementation of the 1995 resolution on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems. We must do our utmost to accelerate its implementation and, there again, we hope that the Review Conference will make it possible to define realistic courses of action.
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This linkage between the zone and the peace process is also acknowledged in the 1995 NPT Middle East Resolution and reaffirmed in 2000 and 2010 albeit in a subtle manner: the 1995 Conference [e]ndorses the aims and objectives of the Middle East peace process and recognizes that efforts in this regard, as well as other efforts, contribute to, inter alia, a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction.
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In other words, progress towards a peace agreement will

facilitate the establishment of a WMD-free zone and not the reverse.

A realistic appraisal of the political situation in the region and common-sense conditions to achieve an agreement on WMD disarmament lead to the conclusion that, since the weapons build-up in the region is a consequence of the conflict and tensions between the regional states, the root causes of the conflict must be addressed as a priority. As a leading Indian expert, Dr Muthiah Alagappa, wrote in a different context, Arms are symptomatic of insecurity, not its cause. To be successful, arms control policies must not only address the supply side but also deal with the demand side of the equation. The real cause of insecurity and armament lies in political disputes.
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This sober assessment applies not only to South

Asia, which the author had in mind, but also to the Middle East. Does this mean that the international community is condemned to wait silently until the ambitious some say utopian goal of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East is achieved? Does this mean that, in the meantime, we should condone the aggravation of the current arms build-up, with its imbalances and potential destabilizing effects, especially when it includes covert WMD programmes? By no means so. But confining the establishment of a zone free of WMD in the Middle East to pressure on Israel for its

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United Nations, Office for Disarmament Affairs, 2010 NPT Review Conference, Statement by Mr Eric Danon, Ambassador of France to the Conference on Disarmament, 4 May 2010 <www.un.org/en/conf/npt/2010/statements/pdf/france_en.pdf>. 22 United Nations, 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Op. cit. 23 Alagappa, Muthiah. Nuclear Weapons Reinforce Security and Stability in 21st Century Asia, Global Asia, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 2009 <http://globalasia.org/articles/issue9/iss9_17.html>.

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immediate accession to the NPT will hardly generate progress, and may sentence the whole project to irrelevance or oblivion. In fact, several reputable institutions have already produced a wealth of expertise on the subject: the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI),
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the Stockholm

the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy the Verification Research, Training and
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(CISD) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Information Centre (VERTIC),

the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS),

etc. Most

of this work indicates how complex the issue is, how much inter-related all its aspects are, and how long it will take before reaching meaningful results. One of the seminars organized by CNS in 2008 and attended by experts from the region, including from Israel and Arab countries, concluded that: movement toward achieving a zone would be slow, incremental and depend on regional political complexities and military development.
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While keeping in mind the above considerations, the momentum created by the 2010 NPT Review Conference and the prospect for a 2012 conference must not be wasted. Since there seems to be no other way forward than a comprehensive and incremental approach, this paper modestly suggests the following set of policy recommendations.

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The Starting Point: Understanding Threat Perceptions and Security Concerns

If one agrees with the assumption that arms procurement, including the possible acquisition of WMD, is a direct consequence of the state of belligerency, historical conflicts and tensions, then one of the prerequisites for any negotiation on a WMD-free zone is better knowledge on the strategic analysis, risk assessment, and threat perceptions of the various regional protagonists. Geopolitical atlases on the region
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clearly demonstrate the impact of past wars, border disputes, colonial heritages, natural

resources, transit routes, religious and ethnic divisions, ideology and other factors on such appraisals. When each state considers its neighbourhood and environment, in particular the quantitative and qualitative level of armed forces of the surrounding states, factoring in their potential WMD and ballistic capabilities, it may come to the conclusion, justified or not, that its national security requires increasing its own level of armaments or even turning to WMD.

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UNIDIR, Arms Control in the Middle East, Disarmament Forum, No. 2, 2008 <http://www.unidir.ch/bdd/ficheperiodique.php?ref_periodique=1020-7287-2008-2-en>. 25 See: http://www.sipriyearbook.org/view/9780199581122-gill/sipri-9780199581122-div1-41.xml. 26 See: http://www.cisd.soas.ac.uk/index.asp-Q-Page-E-middle-east-wmd-free-zone-project--53039187. 27 See: http://www.vertic.org/publications/vertic%20briefs.asp. 28 See: Scheinman, Lawrence. Summary Report on Meeting on Preconditions for a NWFZ in the Middle East, Milan, Italy, March 13-14 2008, CNS Feature Story, 13 June 2008 <http://cns.miis.edu/stories/080613_mnsg.htm>. 29 Ibid. 30 See for instance: Anderson, Ewan W. and Anderson, Liam. An Atlas of Middle Eastern Affairs, Routledge, 2009.

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For instance, Israel considers itself threatened among others by the range of the Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missiles (2,000 km)
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but most other states of the region can also consider themselves under that

threat. Israels perception of an existential threat from Iran is aggravated by the statements of its leadership about wiping the Zionist regime off the map. For its part, Iran can feel threatened by the range of Israeli Jericho-II ballistic missiles (1,500 km),
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which can also reach most countries in the

region. In addition, Irans perception cannot ignore the presence of US forces or bases in most of its neighbourhood: Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Yemen.
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Moreover,

historically, one cannot forget that the main motivations behind Irans and Iraqs WMD programmes were related to their devastating war against each other between 1980 and 1980. Todays Iranian attitude towards Europe and the United States is still under the influence of the support enjoyed by Iraq from the western world at that time.
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Source: The Washington Post

Source: GlobalSecurity.org

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James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS). Ballistic Missiles and Space Launch Vehicles (SLV) Deployed in the Middle East, April 2006 <http://cns.miis.edu/wmdme/ball_dep.htm#1>. 32 Ibid. 33 DeHaemer, Christian A. U.S. Military Surrounds Iran, Energy and Capital, 25 June 2010 <http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/us-millitary-surrounds-iran/1192>. 34 Black, Ian. Iraq and Iran Remember War that Cost More than a Million Lives, The Gardian, 23 September 2010 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/23/iran-iraq-war-anniversary>.

Source: Energy and Capital

In the equation, one must also include the threat perception vis--vis Iran developed by Gulf countries, especially those hosting US bases or forces, which may be targeted by Iran in case of conflict. That fear is not necessarily reassured by some statements of the Iranian leadership, for instance General Mohammad Ali Jaafari, the commander of the Iran's Revolutionary Guards, who told Al-Jazeera television in 2008: "We realize that there is worry among neighboring countries Muslim countries whose lands host U.S. military stations. However, if the U.S. launches a war against us, and if it uses these stations to attack Iran with missiles, then through the strength and precision of our own missiles, we are capable of targeting only the U.S. military forces who attack us."
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Information and intelligence, including on populations attitudes towards countries seen as threatening their security, are widely available.
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However, no other source than direct contacts can provide

clarifications and in-depth insights. This is why, occasionally, one hears of the participation of Israeli, Arab, and Iranian experts, in various informal or disguised capacities, to gatherings where they can learn more about the other countries visions, like at the Cairo meeting of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament in September 2009.
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More of such opportunities are needed

if some ground is to be prepared for any future negotiation. Here again, reputable and impartial organisations such as UNIDIR, SIPRI, CISD, CSIS, NTI, VERTIC, BASIC, Center for Defense Information (CDI), or any mediator acceptable to all parties have a crucial role to play. Dialogue could concentrate, among others, on: military doctrines, strategic assessments, or any official document describing the potential threats in the environment such as White Papers. It could be organized without publicity, and would aim at improving mutual knowledge of adversaries views and concepts. It could help achieve
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Associated Press, Iran Vows to Retaliate Against U.S. Bases in Gulf if U.S. Attacks First, 27 January 2008 <http://www.haaretz.com/news/iran-vows-to-retaliate-against-u-s-bases-in-gulf-if-u-s-attacks-first-1.238058>. 36 See for instance the results of regular opinion polls conducted in Iran, Arab countries, Israel, and the United States about each other and published by WorldPublicOpinion.org <http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/>. 37 Evans, Tom. Ex-Australian FM: Israel, Iran Held Nuclear Meeting, CNN, 29 October 2009 <http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/10/28/australia.israel.iran/>.

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through direct contacts what intelligence services attempt to obtain through indirect sources. It could open some channels of communication to deliver messages outside public pressure. Paradoxically, it could also help improve internal civil-military communication within countries where the military still play a dominant role. Independent experts from outside the region could contribute some useful data and experience from other regions as well as on the implementation of verification regimes, export controls and multinational nuclear cooperation systems (such as Euratom). This dialogue, which could take place in stages or over a rather long period, should include military experts from key countries who would attempt to convince their counterparts from the region of the strategic uselessness and aggravated security risks of WMD in the context of the Middle East. It should also call on experts from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to explain the rationale and benefits of adherence to international humanitarian law instruments and principles.

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Agreeing on Basic Principles

In 1999, in the post-Cold War euphoria consecutive to the entry into force of the Chemical Convention (CWC) and the signing of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC) adopted by consensus a set of Guidelines and Principles for the Establishment of Nuclear-Weapon Free Zones.
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These are rather general recommendations that could be applied, mutatis

mutandis, to a Middle East WMD-free zone. Indeed, according to that document, such principles and guidelines can be regarded only as a non-exhaustive list of generally accepted observations in the current stage of the development of nuclear-weapon-free zones and are based on current practices and available experiences, bearing in mind that the process of establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones should allow for the harmonious implementation of each of these principles and guidelines.
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Among the

principles and guidelines that could be particularly relevant to the Middle East and could serve as a common reference basis are the following ones (italics added): 20. Nuclear-weapon-free zones should be established on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned. 21. The initiative to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone should emanate exclusively from States within the region concerned and be pursued by all the States of that region. . . 23. All the States of the region concerned should participate in the negotiations on and the establishment of such a zone on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned. 24. The status of a nuclear-weapon-free zone should be respected by all States parties to the treaty establishing the zone as well as by States outside the region, including all States whose cooperation and support are essential for the maximum effectiveness of such a zone, namely, the nuclear-weapon States. . . 27. The process of establishing the zone should take into account all the relevant characteristics of the region concerned. 28. The establishment of further nuclear-weapon-free zones reaffirms the commitment of the States that belong to such zones to honour their legal obligations deriving from other

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United Nations, General Assembly, Report of the Disarmament Commission, A/54/42, 6 May 1999 <http://daccessods.un.org/TMP/6243906.html>. 39 Ibid. p. 13.

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international instruments in force in the area of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament to which they are parties. 29. The obligations of all the States parties to a treaty establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone should be clearly defined and be legally binding, and the States parties should fully abide by such agreements. . . 35. A nuclear-weapon-free zone should constitute a geographical entity whose boundaries are to be clearly defined by prospective States parties to the nuclear-weapon free zone treaty through full consultations with other States concerned, especially in cases where territories in dispute are involved, with a view to facilitating agreement of those States concerned. 36. Nuclear-weapon States should, for their part, assume in full their obligations vis--vis nuclear-weapon-free zones upon signing and ratifying relevant protocols, including strict compliance with the statute of the nuclear-weapon-free zone and, through the signing of relevant protocols, enter into binding legal commitments not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the States that belong to the nuclear-weapon-free zone. 37. A nuclear-weapon-free zone should not prevent the use of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes and could also promote, if provided for in the treaties establishing such zones, bilateral, regional and international cooperation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy in the zone, in support of socio-economic, scientific and technological development of the States parties. In particular, the above principles imply direct negotiations among the regional States, and therefore some sort of mutual recognition, but not necessarily diplomatic relations, prior to the actual negotiation. It is worth recalling that Israel and Iran are both Member States of the United Nations, the Conference on Disarmament and the IAEA, where they already actually negotiate with each other and join the adoption of decisions by consensus or vote although they do not have diplomatic relations.

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Increasing Transparency and Confidence

Once better understanding of mutual threat perceptions and agreement on basic principles is achieved, there will be a need to improve the regional flow of information, in particular regarding military spending and holdings as well as arms transfers, and to develop a set of confidence- and security-building measures. Accurate data on military forces and holdings in the Middle East is scare. Despite their remarkable work in compiling available information, institutions such as SIPRI or the London International Institute of Security Studies (IISS) recognize the limits to the existing knowledge due to the lack of reliable official statistics and widespread policies of secrecy in the region. If one considers the record of states of the region in reporting the relevant information to the United Nations using the available instruments, this performance appears rather poor:

5.1. The UN Standardized Instrument for Reporting Military Expenditures, in existence since 1981: Member States are invited to report, on a voluntary basis, data on personnel, operations and maintenance, procurement and construction, and research and development. Out of the 1,194 reports received by the UN in 28 years, only 49 came from the Middle East (4.1%). Turkey filed 20 reports, Lebanon ten, Jordan nine, Israel eight, Qatar two, and the rest none.
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Yet, in the UN General Assembly

United Nations, Office for Disarmament Affairs, Instrument for Reporting Military Expenditures, accessed 4 Oct. 2010 <http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/Milex/html/MilexIndex.shtml>.

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resolution which established the Standardized Instrument for Reporting Military Expenditures (resolution 35/142 B of 12 December 1980), Member States had expressed their conviction that reductions of military expenditures could be carried out without affecting the military balance to the detriment of the national security of any country and that the systematic reporting of military expenditures is an important first step in the move towards agreed and balanced reductions in military expenditures.
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5.2. The Register of Conventional Arms, in existence since 1992: Member States voluntarily provide data on arms transfers as well as information on military holdings, procurement through national production and relevant policies. Among the 1,735 reports received by the UN in 17 years, only 65 came from the Middle East (3.7%). Turkey and Israel filed 17 each, Jordan eleven, Lebanon nine, Iran six, Qatar three, Egypt, Kuwait, and Oman each one, and the rest none. In Resolution A/RES/46/36 of 6 December 1991, adopted by consensus, which served as a basis for the establishment of the Register of Conventional Arms, the Member States had also agreed that excessive and destabilizing arms build-ups pose a threat to national, regional and international peace and security, particularly by aggravating tensions and conflict situations, giving rise to serious and urgent concerns, that implementing confidence-building measures, including transparency and exchange of relevant information on armaments, [is] likely to reduce the occurrence of dangerous misperceptions about the intentions of States and to promote trust among States, and that greater transparency [is important] in the interest of promoting readiness to exercise restraint in accumulation of armaments.
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5.3. The UN Security Council 1540 Committee Reports: all Member States are called upon by UN Security Council Resolution 1540,
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unanimously adopted on 28 April 2004 under Chapter VII of the UN

Charter, to present a first report no later than six months from the adoption of this resolution to the [Security Council] Committee on steps they have taken or intend to take to implement this resolution. In particular, the resolution requires all states to prevent the proliferation of WMD and related materials through legislation, export controls, border controls, etc. The follow-up resolution 1673 of 27 April 2006,
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called upon Member States which had not sent their first report to do so, and [encouraged] all States that have submitted such reports to provide, at any time or upon the request of the 1540 Committee, additional information on their implementation of resolution 1540 (2004); this was repeated in follow-up resolution 1810 of 25 April 2008.
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In its 2008 report to the Security Council,

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the 1540 Committee listed

United Nations, General Assembly, Resolution 35/142 B, Reduction of Military Budgets <http://daccessods.un.org/TMP/2191247.19500542.html>. 42 United Nations, General Assembly, Resolution A/RES/46/36, Transparency in Armaments, 6 December 1991 <http://www.un.org/Depts/ddar/Register/4636.html>. 43 United Nations, Security Council, S/RES 1540, 28 April 2004, <http://daccessods.un.org/TMP/5312447.5479126.html>. 44 United Nations, Security Council, S/RES 1673, 27 April 2006, <http://daccessods.un.org/TMP/8969600.79669952.html>. 45 United Nations, Security Council, S/RES 1810, 25 April 2008 < http://daccessods.un.org/TMP/134742.464870214.html>. 46 United Nations, Security Council, S/2008/493 <http://daccess-ods.un.org/TMP/562948.137521744.html>.

13
the 37 countries which still had failed to send their first report. None of them was in the Middle East. However, out of the 155 Member States which had filed at least one report, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey had provided additional information on measures taken or planned to be taken to implement resolution 1540 while Israel, Kuwait, the UAE, and Yemen had not.

5.4. The Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC): since the 1972 BTWC did not include a verification regime, it was felt useful to develop a voluntary exchange of information about biological activities as confidence-building measures (CBMs) among the States Parties. Since the 2006 BTWC Review Conference, this exchange is facilitated by the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) operating within the Geneva Branch of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). However, the participation of States Parties from the Middle East remains rather low: for instance, in 2008, only Bahrain (for the first time), Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar, and Turkey filed reports (out of 62 reports received by the ISU); in 2007, it was only Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey (out of 65 reports received by the ISU). the BWTC (see below 7)
47

As a reminder, Egypt, Israel, Syria and the UAE are not States Parties of

It is thus clear that increasing transparency on military expenditures and arms transfers as well as nonproliferation measures in the Middle East will not reduce security but will reinforce confidence and national security. One major argument supporting this assertion, and aimed at the states which have been the most reluctant in this respect, is that the states which have taken part in the UN reporting exercise have not felt that their security had been diminished as a result. Moreover, if one considers the next step towards the establishment of a WMD-free zone, namely disarmament, the collection, by an impartial body, of data related to military budgets, holdings, transfers, and non-proliferation measures will appear as a necessity, and this ambitious goal will not be possible to achieve without greater cooperation from all the states of the region.

6.

The Nexus between WMD and Conventional Arms

There are three dimensions to the WMD-conventional nexus that justify taking the conventional armaments into consideration when addressing a WMD-free zone: Among the motivations for the acquisition or development of WMD by one state in a regional context is the perception or conviction of imbalances in military forces and conventional armaments to the benefit of other states in the region or its periphery. This was the principal reason invoked by countries such as Britain or France to counterbalance the enormous conventional superiority of the Soviet Union during the Cold War; this also has led Pakistan to

47

Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit, Annual Reports for 2007, 2008, and 2009 (http://www.unog.ch/80256EE600585943/(httpPages)/16C37624830EDAE5C12572BC0044DFC1?OpenDocument).

14
acquire nuclear weapons to offset the Indian conventional superiority, and this is why Israel, convinced of its inferiority vis--vis all its potential enemies, has developed its WMD capabilities. 48

Conversely, the emergence of WMD-related threats in the Middle East has prompted several states, in particular in the Gulf, to increase their conventional armaments both quantitatively and qualitatively.
49

Finally, if and when a prohibition of all WMD is established and enforced in the region, one would not wish, as a consequence, to see a build-up of conventional armaments, aggravating the risk of conventional war, with potential consequences as devastating as the use of WMD, especially if advanced conventional armaments were used.

Any progress towards a WMD-free zone will therefore require the acknowledgement by all parties, including the main suppliers of conventional armaments, of this nexus, prone to becoming a vicious circle. Assisted by more accurate information on their existing stockpiles and planned imports, thanks to general participation in the UN reporting instruments, regional states would be in a better position to contemplate reductions and/or accession to international treaties prohibiting categories of armaments. This will, in particular, will be of crucial importance in the negotiation and the implementation of a future Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in which both suppliers and recipients would act in a responsible manner. In considering any action towards a WMD-free zone, the regional states will have to take into account the available data related to the current situation regarding the conventional arms build-up in the Middle East.
50

6.1. Military Expenditures: according to SIPRI Yearbook 2010,

the countries of the Middle East spent

$103 billion on their defence in 2009. Compared to world military spending ($1,531 billion, of which $626 billion for the USA alone), the share of the Middle East may appear modest (i.e. 6.7%). But its total increase since 1998 exceeded 60%, above the world increase (49%). In absolute terms, Saudi Arabia ranks 8 or 9 in the world depending on the year. In 2008-2009, the economic crisis and the drop in oil prices caused the decline of some military budgets. 6.2. Military Spending in Terms of GDP: according to the same source, in the period 2000-2008, in terms of percentage of GDP, military spending in the Middle East showed: a generally high percentage much higher than the world average of 2.4% , a diversity of situations, and a general trend towards decline, except for Iraq. Among the top ten spending countries as a percentage of GDP, six are from the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE, Jordan, Iraq, ranging from 5.4% to 8.2%).
48

th

th

51

In terms of military spending

Scheinman, Lawrence. NBC and Missile Proliferation Issues in the Middle East, in Middle East Security Issues In the Shadow of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation, Barry Schneider ed., Air University Press, 1999, p. 4. <http://ebook.guntenberg.us/AU_Press_Collection/Books/Schneider/Schneider.pdf>. 49 Defence.Professionals, Beyond the Nuclear and Terror Threats, 20 July 2010 <http://www.defpro.com/daily/details/618/>. 50 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI Yearbook 2010, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 186188, p. 206, p. 225, p. 232.
51

Ibid.

15
per capita, among the first five countries in the world in 2000-2004, four were from the Middle East (Israel, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia).
52

6.3. Active Military Forces: according to the International Institute of Security Studies (IISS) Military Balance 2010,
53

the countries with the largest forces in the region (in thousands) were: Iraq (578.2), Iran

(523), Turkey (510.6), and Egypt (468.5). Not surprisingly, the size of each country and its population determines the size of its armed forces. However, if one considers the force ratio, i.e. the number of forces in percentage of total population, results are somewhat different: here Israel (2.44%), Jordan (1.6%), Syria (1.49%), and Lebanon (1.47%) rank first. 6.4. Major Conventional Equipment: according to the same source, regarding numbers of main battle tanks, the first countries are Syria (4,950), Turkey (4,503), Egypt (3,723), and Israel (3,501). In terms of the main equipment of the navy, i.e. main surface ships, Iran ranks the highest (152), followed by Saudi Arabia (76), Turkey (66), and Israel (64). Finally, with respect to the air force and main combat capable aircraft,
54

the most equipped countries are Syria (555), Israel (461), Egypt (461), and Turkey (426).
55

6.5. Arms Exports: in a 2009 SIPRI Factsheet,

we learn that, in the period 2005-2009, at least one

country from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region was among the top three recipients of each of the five main suppliers: for the United States, Israel comes second (11% of US exports) and the United Arab Emirates third (11%); for the Russian Federation, Algeria comes third (11%); for Germany, Turkey comes first (14%); for France, the UAE comes first (25%); and for the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia comes third (10%). According to the SIPRI Yearbook 2010, in 2005-2009, the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council (P5) were indeed among the top five suppliers to the region, although there were fluctuations in time. In terms of market share, the US has the largest (36%), followed by France (27%), China (21%), Germany (15%), the UK (13%), Italy (11%), the Netherlands (8%), and Russia (6%); there are also now competing suppliers from the region to the rest of the world (Israel: 12 supplier; Turkey: 21 ; Jordan: 30 in 2005-2009).
st th 56 th

6.6. Arms Imports: according to the SIPRI Yearbook 2010, the Middle East accounts for about 20% of all arms imports (Asia: 41%, Europe: 24%). Among the top ten recipients were two countries from the Middle East: the UAE (4 largest importer, 6% of world imports), and Israel (6 largest importer, 3% of world imports); in 2004-2009, there were four; among the top 30 recipient countries, there were seven from the
th th

52

NationMaster.com, Military Statistics > Expenditures > Dollar figure (per capita) (most recent) by country, accessed 4 October 2010, <http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mil_exp_dol_fig_percap-expenditures-dollar-figureper-capita>. 53 The International Institute for Security Studies (IISS), The Military Balance 2010, Routledge, London, UK, 2010, pp. 235-282. 54 It is worth noting that some combat capable aircraft can also be used as means of delivery of WMD, like ballistic or cruise missiles. 55 Holtom, Paul; Bromley, Mark; Wezeman, Pieter D.; Wezeman, Siemon. Trends in International Arms Transfers, SIPRI Factsheet, 2009, Siemon D. <http://books.sipri.org/product_info?c_product_id=404>. 56 Ibid.

16
Middle East: in addition to the previous ones, Turkey (11 importer, 3%), Egypt (15 importer, 2%), Iraq (24 , 1%), Saudi Arabia (22
th nd th th

importer, 1%), and Iran (29 importer, 1%).

th

57

6.7. Small Arms and Light Weapons: the 2005 Small Arms Survey indicated that, in the Middle East, the number of small arms and light weapons (SALW) was estimated to reach between 58 and 107 million depending on the sources. An estimated 45 to 90 million of such weapons were held by civilians (77 to 84%) while only 13 to 17 million were in the hands of the military or the police (29 to 16%), and only 1% held by non-state armed groups.
58

Among the top 12 countries with the highest number of firearms per
nd th th 59

100 people in 2007, three were in the Middle East (Yemen: 2 ; Iraq: 5 ; Saudi Arabia: 11 ).

6.8. Ballistic Missiles: this category of weapon is particularly important in this study because, on the one hand, it can be considered as a conventional weapon, and, on the other hand, it can serve as means of delivery for WMD. According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, ten of the 15 states of the Middle East possessed ballistic missiles over 100-km ranges in 2007: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, UAE, and Yemen.
60

Most of those countries possessed short-range

missiles (1,000 km or less): Bahrain (165 km), Egypt (300-500 km), Iraq (150 km), Syria (120-700 km), Turkey (150-165 km), UAE (300 km), and Yemen (70 km). However, the arsenals of three countries also included medium-range missiles (3,000 km or less): Iran (2,000 km), Israel (4,000 km), and Saudi Arabia (2,600 km),
61

while Israel and Iran are considered to have developed inter-continental ballistic missiles
62

(above 5,500 km), as well as cruise missiles and space-launch vehicles (SLV).
63

Therefore, half of the six

states with missiles over 1,000 km-ranges apart from the five official nuclear powers are in the Middle East (the other ones being India, North Korean and Pakistan).

7.

The Steps Needed to Facilitate the Establishment of a WMD-free Zone

Beyond dialogue and exchanges of information on strategic perceptions and military forces, holdings and equipment to act as confidence- and security-building measures, in order to prepare the ground for a WMD-free zone, the states of the region will need to take a number of steps regarding both, on the one hand, conventional armaments and international humanitarian law, and, on the other hand, weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The achievements of the international community in those areas are already substantial, but joining those instruments may not appear sufficient to all, especially

57 58

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI Yearbook 2010, Op. cit., p. 311. Small Arms Survey, Weapons at War, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 88-89. 59 Small Arms Survey, Guns and the City, Cambridge University Press, 2007, p. 47-48. 60 Cirincione, Joseph. Get Smart on Ballistic Missiles, Center for American Progress, 8 May 2007 <http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/05/missiles.htm >. 61 Ibid. 62 Feickert, Andrew. Missile Survey: Ballistic and Cruise Missiles of Foreign Countries, CRS Report for Congress, 5 March 2004, p. 27 <http://www.scribd.com/doc/6088311/Missile-Survey-Ballistic-and-Cruise-Missiles-of-ForeignCountries>. 63 Cirincione, Joseph. Get Smart on Ballistic Missiles, op. cit.

17
when their compliance verification mechanisms are too weak or non-existent to generate enough confidence; this is why specific regional input in this regard will be necessary. 7.1. Conventional Armaments and International Humanitarian Law: 7.1.1. The 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW): this treaty, with its five annexed protocols (on Non-detectable Fragments, on Mines, Booby-traps and Other Devices, on Incendiary Weapons, on Blinding Laser Weapons, and on Explosive Remnants of War), regulates or prohibits the use of certain conventional weapons considered inhumane in the framework of the laws of armed conflict. States can be party to it only if they are bound at least by two of its protocols. In the Middle East, it has been signed and ratified or acceded to only by Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UAE, although none of them is party to all its annexed protocols and its amended article I. All six of them are party to Protocol I (on Non-detectable Fragments); but only Israel and Turkey are party both to Protocol II and Amended Protocol II (on Mines, Booby-traps and Other Devices), while Jordan is party to Amended Protocol II, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE to Protocol III (on Incendiary Weapons), and Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are party to Protocol IV (on Blinding Laser Weapons); Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are party to Protocol V (on Explosive Remnants of War). Egypt signed the CCW but did not ratify it.
64

All the other Middle Eastern states have remained outside this convention.

Acceding to it and to all its annexed protocols would not entail any arms reduction in arsenals but would certainly increase human security and the confidence that inhumane weapons would not be used in case of armed conflict. Acceding to Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War would in particular improve the security situation for the regional states, their military and their civilian populations, the latter being the most frequent victims of accidents caused by unexploded ordnance. If States Parties encountered technical or financial difficulties in implementing this Protocol, they could always ask for assistance from the international community or other States Parties with the necessary capacity and resources.
Protocol I Israel Jordan Qatar Saudi Arabia Turkey UAE X X X X X X X X X Protocol II X X X Amended Protocol II X X X X X X X X X X X Protocol III Protocol IV X Protocol V

Status of the Protocols Annexed to the CCW in the Middle East (as of 1 October 2010 Source: ICRC)

st

64

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Humanitarian Law - Treaties & Documents, accessed 6 October 2010 <http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/INTRO?OpenView>.

18
7.1.2. The 1997 Ottawa Treaty on Antipersonnel Landmines: although the Middle East is one of the most contaminated regions with antipersonnel landmines,
65

the Ottawa Treaty has been signed and ratified or

acceded to only by Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey and Yemen. Out of the 39 non-parties, nine are in the Middle East: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates.
66

In spite of an official Iranian moratorium on exports and production, antipersonnel landmines


67

recently produced in Iran have allegedly been found in Afghanistan.

Israel and Egypt have applied

export moratoria for a number of years. In the region, especially in Iraq, several non-state armed groups have been reported to possess stockpiles, although a few of them, in Iran and Iraq, have agreed unilaterally to renounce the use of antipersonnel landmines.
69 68

It is true that some of the non-parties claim

that they must retain antipersonnel landmines to preserve the security of their borders against possible incursions by enemies or terrorists. However experience has shown that border control can be
70

implemented by using other, more humanitarian means of protection, and that most victims of accidents caused by antipersonnel landmines are civilian nationals of the state which has deployed them. Since

officially none of the states of the region produces or exports antipersonnel landmines, this should not affect their defence industry. Regarding the expertise needed and the costs of stockpile destruction and mine clearance, states can always request international technical and financial assistance. Although major states such as the USA, China, India, or Russia are yet to become party to the Ottawa Treaty, if a collective move in that direction were taken by the countries of the Middle East, this would considerable improve their image, and no doubt donor countries would be willing to provide such assistance. 7.1.3. The 2008 Oslo Treaty on Cluster Munitions: similarly, the most recent disarmament treaty banning a category of weapons which has been widely used in the Middle East has been adopted in Oslo only by three states in the region (Bahrain, Lebanon and Qatar), and eventually only signed by Lebanon and Iraq, that are yet to ratify it.
71

Out of the 87 non-signatories, 13 are in the Middle East (Bahrain, Egypt, Iran,

Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen). In the region, this weapon is still produced by Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Turkey; it has been exported by

65

In the Middle East, 13 states of the 14 in the region (excluding Turkey), and two areas are contaminated by landmines. See: Landmine Monitor 2008 <http://lm.icbl.org/index.php/publications/display?url=lm/2008/es/mine_action.html>. 66 International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Mine Treaty, States Not Party, accessed 6 October 2010 <http://www.icbl.org/index.php/icbl/Universal/MBT/States-Not-Party >. 67 Pajhwok Afghan News, "Landmine Depot Smuggled from Iran Discovered," 25 January 2008. See also: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), "Iranian Land Mines Found In Taliban Commander's House," 25 January 2008, cited by the 2008 Landmine Monitor <http://www.icbl.org/lm/2008/countries/iran.php>. 68 Geneva Call <http://www.genevacall.org/home.htm>. 69 See for instance: Aharon Etengoff and Gerald Steinberg, Israeli Landmine Policy and Related Regional Activity, Journal of Mine Action, Dec. 2004: As long as these threats continue, the use of landmines as part of wider defensive actions will be seen as both necessary and justified. <http://maic.jmu.edu/JOURNAL/5.3/focus/etengoff_steinberg_israel/etengoff_steinberg.htm>. 70 See for instance the 2008 Report of the Landmine Monitor indicating that casualties of landmines, improvised explosive devices, and explosive remnants of war were recorded in 2007 in: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, and Yemen. 71 International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Cluster Munitions Treaty, Signatories, accessed 6 October 2010 <http://www.icbl.org/index.php/icbl/Universal/CCM/Signatories>.

19
Egypt and Israel; it is stockpiled by Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the UAE, and Yemen; it has been used in Iraq, Israel, the Gaza Strip, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, and it still causes many casualties among the civilian population due to unexploded ordnance.
72

For the producing countries, production will have to end upon accession, since the treaty has
73

entered into force.

But this will give time to plan the necessary conversion of production facilities, and

the fact that all producers of the region would cease production should reassure them that they would not suffer from any commercial competition in the region. Of course, if the other main producers (USA, Russia, China, India, etc.) also signed the treaty and stopped production, this would be a formidable incentive for the Middle East. Even without such a development, it is clear that the international market for trade in cluster munitions is bound to shrink with the entry into force of the Oslo Treaty. Producing states without a strong industrial base should find it more and more difficult to pursue the production of such a weapon only for national procurement. Others will be under a growing international pressure to consider this weapon as inhumane and contrary to international humanitarian law, as the attempts to restrict its use in armed conflict under the CCW have demonstrated.
74

Regarding the states of the Middle East that

do not produce cluster munitions but stockpile them, they should be reassured by the time-frames provided for by the treaty: up to twelve years for stockpile destruction, and ten years for unexploded munitions clearance. And, as in the case of landmines, they could also seek international assistance from the other States Parties, which are under the obligation to provide it if they have the capacity to do so. 7.2. Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Means of Delivery One of the main reasons to establish a WMD-free zone in the Middle East is the risk of proliferation of such weapons therein (and outside), as well as its potential impact on regional and global security. As pointed out by the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, WMD programmes in one state, if perceived as a threat by some other state or states, have a tendency to prompt other WMD programmes as seen. . . in the persisting WMD-related developments in the Middle East.
75

Therefore, as one of the

starting points of the establishment of a WMD-free zone would be an accurate analysis of the existing situation regarding adherence of regional states to multilateral legally or politically binding agreements on WMD. This means both formal participation in such agreements and compliance with them. Indeed, as experience has shown, even states that were party to legally binding agreement did commit breaches in conducting covert WMD programmes. The fact that some states still remain outside those agreements does not automatically imply that they do possess WMD or attempt to acquire them, but the prevailing uncertainty does fuel suspicions.

72 73

Cluster Munitions Coalition, http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/the-problem/countries/. The Oslo Treaty was opened for signature in December 2008 and entered into force on 1 August 2010 after 30 ratifications < http://www.clusterconvention.org/pages/pages_i/i_statessigning.html>. 74 Abramson, Jeff. CCW Fails to Reach Cluster Munition Pact, Arms Control Today, December 2008 <http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2008_12/clustermunitions>. 75 The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, Weapons of Terror, Freeing the World of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Arms, Stockholm, Sweden, 2006, p. 35.

20

7.2.1.

Chemical Weapons:

In the Middle East, all states are party to the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning the use of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases in war, except Oman and the UAE. However, Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, and Syria have expressed reservations to it, and reserve the right to use such weapons against non-parties or in retaliation if the same weapons are used against them.
76

Fortunately, those reservations

can be considered as obsolete or taken over by the newest legal instrument in this field, the Chemical Weapons Convention, at least for the states that are party to it. Indeed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) prohibits not only any use but also the development, production, stockpiling, and transfer of chemical weapons. In the Middle East, all states are party to the Convention except three: Egypt, Syria (which did not sign it or accede to it), and Israel (which signed it but did not ratify it). No State Party from the region has declared chemical weapons; Iran was the only State Party from the region which declared and destroyed production facilities. Iraq, which acceded to the Convention only in 2009, had used chemical weapons and all its stockpiles and production facilities had been destroyed by the United Nations before 2003. It is worth noting that, as an incentive for membership, the CWC prohibits or regulates the transfer of the most toxic chemicals
77

from States Parties to non-parties, in this case to

Egypt, Syria and Israel. With regard to compliance by Iran with its CWC obligations, the United States, in its 2010 annual compliance report stated that: Based on available information, the United States cannot certify whether Iran has met its chemical weapons [CW] production facility declaration obligations, destroyed its specialized CW equipment, or retained an undeclared CW stockpile.
78

7.2.2.

Biological Weapons:

Regarding the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which prohibits the use of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare in war, the same remarks as above can be made. However, States Parties with reservations could theoretically still consider themselves bound by them even if they are party to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.
79

The 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) prohibits the

development, production, and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons: in the Middle East region, all states are party to it except four: Israel (which did not sign it or accede to it), Egypt, Syria, and the UAE (which signed it but did not ratify it). It is also important to note that the BTWC does not strictly speaking prohibit the use of biological weapons, unlike the 1925 Geneva Protocol. This could mean that states which are not party to either instrument (i.e. the UAE) or are not party to the BTWC and maintain

76

International Committee of the Red Cross, International Humanitarian Law - Treaties & Documents, accessed 5 October 2010 <http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/Pays?ReadForm>. 77 See: Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), International Transfer of Scheduled Chemicals under the Chemical Weapons Convention (http://www.opcw.org/our-work/non-proliferation/internationaltransfer-of-scheduled-chemicals/). 78 U.S. Department of State, Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, July 2010, p. 45 <www.foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_documents/100728_July%202010%20Compliance%20Report.pdf>. 79 Goldblat, Jozef. Arms Control A Guide to Negotiations and Agreements, PRIO, Oslo, 2002, p. 95.

21
reservations to the Geneva Protocol (i.e. Israel and Syria) could lawfully use biological weapons at least in retaliation against the same weapons or against non-parties. However, in case the UEA and Syria had developed or retained biological weapons (because use presupposes possession), they would be in breach of international law by defeating the object and purpose of the BTWC which they had signed but not ratified (see below 7.2.1.). Moreover, in the Final Declaration of the Fourth Review Conference of the BTWC in 1996, the States Parties stated [t]heir reaffirmation that under any circumstances the use, development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons is effectively prohibited under Article I of the Convention.
81 80

This further strengthened the moral condemnation of any

use of biological weapons (BW) already derived from international humanitarian law as well as numerous UN General Assembly resolutions. Regarding compliance with the BTWC by Iran, the United States noted in its 2010 report: Available information indicates Iran has remained engaged in dual-use BWrelated activities. The United States notes that Iran may not have ended activities prohibited by the BWC, although available information does not conclusively indicate that Iran is currently conducting activities prohibited by the Convention.
82

With respect to Syria, the US report noted: During the reporting period,

Syrias President stated that Syria was entitled to defend itself by acquiring, inter alia, its own biological deterrent. Available information does not indicate that the Syrian Government subsequently modified or rescinded this statement, or that Syria has abandoned all intent to acquire biological weapons. The United States notes that, if Syria were a State Party to the BWC, BW-related activities in which it has engaged would have been prohibited by the Convention.
83

Finally, in the case of the clandestine Iraqi

BW programme, it is interesting to recall that it was mostly destroyed by the Saddam Hussein regime out of fear of international sanctions that may have resulted from the findings of the UN inspection regimes (UNSCOM and UNMOVIC).
84

The states in the region which are not party without reservations to the Geneva Protocol should, as a first step, accede to the instrument (Oman and the UAE) or lift their existing reservations (Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, and Syria). Thus, even the states which are not yet party to the CWC and/or the BTWC (Egypt, Israel, Syria, and the UEA) would express their mutual commitment not to use those weapons in war. They would realize that their security would be even strengthened, as a second step, by an accession to, or ratification of the conventions, especially the CWC, which includes a stringent verification

80

Fourth Review Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, Final Declaration, 6 December 1996 (http://www.opbw.org). 81 On the whole issue of biosecurity, see: Nayef Al-Rodhan, Liubov Nazaruk, Marc Finaud, & Jenifer Mackby, Global Biosecurity Towards a New Governance Paradigm, Slatkine, Geneva, 2008. 82 U.S. Department of State, Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, op. cit. p. 16. 83 Ibid. p. 24. 84 Lewis, Patricia. Why We Got It Wrong: Attempting to Unravel the Truth of Bioweapons in Iraq, in Arms Control After Iraq: Normative and Operational Challenges, W.P.S. Sidhu and Ramesh Thakur eds., Pearson, 2008, pp. 160177.

22
regime capable of building confidence in compliance with the convention by other States Parties. They would also enjoy some additional benefits: by becoming States Parties of the CWC, Egypt, Syria, and Israel would also be removed from the list of states with which trade in the most dangerous chemicals is prohibited; they would profit from technical assistance, training and cooperation programmes for their staff in CBRN
85

defence and the peaceful uses of chemistry; they would be in a position to have suspicious

activities or installations in other States Parties inspected by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Technical Secretariat. By becoming States Parties of the BTWC, the same states and the UAE would be granted access to the BTWC Confidence-Building Measures, in particular the exchange of data on biological peaceful programmes of other States Parties, thus improving their knowledge on such activities. (Incidentally, this move would encourage other States Parties which do not contribute to the system on a regular basis to file more reports and access more information from others.) Moreover, this would enable them, as States Parties, to influence the recurrent debate about a verification regime of the BTWC and a possible revival of the Verification Protocol frozen in 2001 following the US rejection. In a WMD-free zone treaty specific for the Middle East, one could also envisage strengthened CBMs or even a regional inspection regime. Additionally, there are two sets of arguments that should convince non-parties to the BTWC and the CWC to become States Parties of those treaties even before Israel becomes party to the NPT: From a legal point of view, two points are essential. Firstly, states which have signed treaties but have not ratified them (such as Israel for the CWC or Egypt, Syria and the UAE for the BTWC) are bound by the principle enshrined in Article 18 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which codified international customary law: A State is obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty when: (a) it has signed the treaty or has exchanged instruments constituting the treaty subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, until it shall have made its intention clear not to become a party to the treaty; or (b) it has expressed its consent to be bound by the treaty, pending the entry into force of the treaty and provided that such entry into force is not unduly delayed.
86

In other words, if a state such as Israel would actually develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain, transfer or use chemical weapons, it would defeat the object and purpose of the CWC which it has signed, and be in breach of international law. Similarly, if Egypt, Syria, or the UAE developed, produced, stockpiled or otherwise acquired, or retained biological weapons, they would defeat the object and purpose of the BTWC which they have signed. Obviously, the question of evidence of such breaches would be posed, as well as action to be taken by the other States Parties or the international
85

Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear. United Nations, Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties 1969 <http://untreaty.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/conventions/1_1_1969.pdf>.
86

23
community, more specifically the UN Security Council in case of a threat to international peace and security. It remains that the posture of non-ratification of a treaty as a means of pressure on other nonstate parties is legally ineffective, and can hardly be put into practice.
87

Secondly, the states of the region which are party to the 1925 Geneva Protocol

have all accepted the

prohibition of the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous and other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices as well as of the use of bacteriological means of warfare. Some, such as Egypt, have accepted this prohibition without reservation, which means that even if such weapons were used against it, Egypt could not use them to retaliate in kind. Others, such as Israel or Syria, reserve the right to use them only if attacked with the same weapons (i.e. chemical or biological) or by non-parties. In other words, the possibility of using chemical weapons or biological weapons in retaliation against the use of nuclear weapons is clearly excluded even for those states, which considerably reduces their deterrence value. From a military strategic point of view, analysis shows that the linkage between, on the one hand, nuclear weapons and, on the other hand, chemical and/or biological weapons does not make any sense. Indeed, one can assume that a country such as Israel, allegedly possessing nuclear-tipped missiles, if led to use them, would target military facilities of its adversaries which it believes shelter chemical and/or biological weapons. The dramatic difference in terms of potential destructive power between, on the one hand, nuclear weapons and, on the other hand, chemical and biological weapons does not allow the latter to equalize the former. It has been argued that, after the invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein had been deterred from attacking Israel or the Coalition forces with chemical weapons because he feared retaliation with nuclear weapons from Israel or the United States.
88

Hard evidence of this assertion is not available.


90

The Iraqi command may have been convinced that this was the case. However, there is no certainty that either Israel, the United States or the United Kingdom,
91 89

in spite of threatening public statements,

was

ready to use nuclear weapons in this conflict, be it only because of the potentially devastating fall-out affecting allied countries and Coalition forces. General Colin Powell even wrote in his memoirs that the

87

Namely: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen. 88 See for instance the 1995 CIA report on the debriefing of Iraqs former Minister of Industry and Minerals who had defected: The Iraqi command became convinced that the United States would use tactical nuclear weapons against Iraq if Iraq used chemical or biological weapons against the coalition. Cited by John Pike, Nuclear Threats during the Gulf War, Federation of American Scientists, 19 February 1998 <http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/ds-threats.htm>. 89 France had explicitly excluded any use of nuclear weapons in case of chemical attack against its forces. See: Interview of Foreign Minister Roland Dumas to Le Journal du Dimanche on 11 February 1991: To use the nuclear weapon now, and in this context, would constitute a sort of repudiation of ourselves, of our doctrine, and therefore a political and strategic error. 90 Richard Norton-Taylor, Bushs Nuclear Bandwagon, The Guardian, 27 March 2002 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/mar/27/usa.comment1>. 91 Dean Babst and David Krieger, Consequences of Using Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 1997 <http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/1997/00/00_babst_consequences.htm>.

24
United States never had, under any circumstances, any intention of using nuclear weapons during the Gulf War.
92

Similarly, it seems irrational to think that either Israel would use nuclear weapons as retaliation against Syrian and/or Egyptian chemical weapons, or that Egypt and/or Syria would retaliate to a nuclear attack using chemical and/or biological weapons. Indeed, considering the geographic realities, the potential fallout on the own armed forces and civilian population of the sending state as well as its allies in the region would cause major damage. It is true that Israels civil defence is more advanced than that of its neighbours (its population is equipped with some protection gear and buildings include shelters), as was demonstrated during the 1991 Iraqi Scud missile attacks or the rocket attacks from Lebanon or the Gaza strip in recent years. However, although civil defence and CBRN defence of armed forces can play a minimal deterrence role, by no means armed forces or civilian population can be granted full protection, especially if nuclear weapons are used. Similarly, if ballistic missiles tipped with any WMD were exchanged between Israel and Iran, civilian populations would suffer the worst rate of casualties, in violation of international humanitarian law; it is not even guaranteed that Iranian missiles could spare Palestinians living in or near Israel, while Iran is an ardent supporter of the Palestinian cause. Since deterrence is based on the credibility of use of weapons (albeit surrounded by uncertainty as to targets, scale and timing), in the case of the Middle East, this concept is fundamentally flawed and inapplicable. It is so also for broader reasons: as rightly pointed out by Elliot P. Chodoff and Benjamin Frankel, a strategy which is based upon ethnocentric assumptions made about goals, values, determination and vulnerabilities of rival societies is neither good social science nor prudent strategic policy. 7.2.3. Nuclear Weapons:
93

The importance of the issue is growing as the world energy crisis, fossil fuel depletion, and prospects of climate change motivate more and more states of the Middle East region to seek the development of peaceful nuclear energy. As a matter of fact, out of the 30 states of the world which have stated a more or less firm intention to resort to nuclear power generation, half are in the MENA region (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen).
94

This movement, improperly called nuclear renaissance, opens the door to critical risks in

terms of nuclear proliferation, nuclear safety of installations and criminal smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials that need to be effectively addressed. In the Middle East, only Israel is not party to the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). As is well known, Israel maintains a policy of ambiguity regarding its nuclear capability, and claims that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
92 93

C. Powell with J. E. Persico, My American Journey (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995) pp. 486 and 472. Chodoff Elliot P. and Frankel, Benjamin. Cultural Relativism and Deterrence Strategy in the Middle East, Unconventional Wisdom, 2006 <http://me-ontarget.com/op-eds-aamp-features-mainmenu-43/51-features/216cultural-relativism-and-deterrence-strategy-in-the-middleeast?c2cddacb5793f6bad9c67856760d36c6=8930b2551c585c6229c5e8b394f74f78>. 94 Sharon Squassoni, The Realities of Nuclear Expansion, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, Washington, DC, 12 March 2008 (http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/squassoni_testimony_20080312.pdf).

25
But the former Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, considered that the Israeli military nuclear programme is a cause of great concern in the Middle East and in the world as a whole.
95

According to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS),

[e]stimates for Israel's nuclear weapons stockpile range from 70 to 400 warheads. The actual number is probably closer to the lower estimate. Additional weapons could probably be built from inventories of fissile materials.
96

While all other states of the region are party to the NPT, the UN Security Council has
97

several times required Iran to take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors. . . which are essential to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of its nuclear programme. Formally,

Iran has not been declared in non-compliance of the NPT but of its safeguards agreement with the IAEA, and the Agency has not been in position to certify that Irans programme is only for peaceful uses. Dr. El Baradei has expressed his gut feeling that Iran would like to have the technology to enable it to have nuclear weapons, if it decides to do so."
98

With regard to Syria, the IAEA is still investigating the origin of

the traces of uranium found at the Dair Alzour site destroyed by an Israeli air raid in 2008. According to the then-IAEA Director-General, this uranium is of a type not included in Syrias declared inventory of nuclear material.
99

Dr. El Baradei and his successor Yukiya Amano have urged Syria to provide more
100

information and access to the related facilities.

It seems unlikely that Israel will make a dramatic policy shift in the near future and recognize its nuclear capability as some experts including Israeli ones recommend.
101

Thus any realistic step towards the

negotiation of a WMD-free zone must take this factor into account. If a change in Israeli policy did occur, one could think that the negotiation towards a WMD-free zone would be facilitated. It may in fact be the opposite in case Israel acknowledged its possession of nuclear weapons as a response to Irans becoming a nuclear-weapon state and withdrawing from the NPT or being found in breach of the NPT beyond doubt. In that hypothetical situation consistent with Israels current position , moving into the direction of a WMD-free zone would entail the disarmament not only of one state but of two (assuming no more states turned nuclear), with the necessary strengthening of a potential verification regime.
95

Mohamed El Baradei, interview to Al-Ahram, 27 July 2004 (http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Transcripts/2004/alahram27072004.html). 96 Federation of American Scientists (FAS), WMD Around the World - Nuclear Weapons Israel, 8 January 2007 <http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/>. 97 See UN Security Council resolutions 1696 (2006) (http://www.undemocracy.com/S-RES1696(2006)/page_2/rect_184,543_829,610), 1737 (2006) (http://www.undemocracy.com/S-RES-1737(2006).pdf), 1747 (2007) (http://www.undemocracy.com/S-RES-1747(2007)/page_2/rect_185,953_817,1019), 1803 (2008) (http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/IaeaIran/unsc_res1803-2008.pdf), and 1929 (2010) (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/sc9948.doc.htm). 98 Iran Would Like Nuclear Option, BBC News, 17 June 2009 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8104388.stm). 99 International Atomic Energy Agency, Director-Generals Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors, 2 March 2009 (http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Statements/2009/ebsp2009n002.html). 100 International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA Director General Addresses Board, 1 March 2010 <http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2010/bog010310.html>. 101 Mozgovaya, Natasha. Why Israel Should End its Policy of Nuclear Ambiguity Interview with Avner Cohen, Haaretz, 26 August 2010 <http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/interview-why-israel-should-end-its-policy-ofnuclear-ambiguity-1.310278>.

26
Considering that the present conditions are likely to prevail in the coming years, one could anyhow envisage several actions that will inevitably contribute to furthering the goal of a WMD-free zone while avoiding perceptions of unilateral or imbalanced efforts undermining regional states security. 7.2.3.1. First, the IAEA Additional Protocol: after the discovery of the Iraqi clandestine nuclear programme, the IAEA has designed a strengthened system of inspection, to include undeclared nuclear facilities and activities. This new regime is considered by most of the international community as a new standard for verifying compliance with the NPT and the safeguards agreements. However, in the Middle East, at this stage, only Jordan, Kuwait, and Turkey are party to such a Protocol. Iran signed one in 2003 but still has yet to ratify it. Tehran has applied it unilaterally for some time, before suspending its implementation in February 2006 as a reaction to Resolution GOV/2006/14 adopted by the Board of Governors of the IAEA and deeming it necessary for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment.
103 102

This

Iranian decision was thus taken even before the UN Security Council voted its first resolution on sanctions against Iran on 23 December 2006.
104

Iraq, which signed one in 2008, applies it provisionally

pending ratification. The UAE has also signed one in 2009 but still needs to ratify it. The other states have not signed any. So if all States Party to the NPT (Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar,

Saudi Arabia, and Syria) did join those of the Middle East which are already party to an Additional Protocol, this norm would be reinforced and mutual confidence established in compliance with the NPT and safeguards agreements. The vast majority of regional states do not have anything to hide and thus to fear from inspections of undeclared activities or facilities. For those states which are party to a Small Quantities Protocol (SQP)
105

(Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia), this move would not entail significant

changes in their situation, and it would improve their image and standing among the NPT States Parties. For Iran, already a signatory to an Additional Protocol, it would only increase confidence of the international community in the stated peaceful nature of its nuclear programme, and would facilitate the resolution of the current crisis about this programme. The fact that Israels status with regard to its safeguards agreement at this stage would be unchanged should not prevent such a move since all the other states of the Middle East are NPT parties, and therefore already committed to the verification of their nuclear activities. Israel, although a non-party to the NPT, has nevertheless concluded a safeguards agreement based on the pre-NPT INFCIRC/66 model, which provides for the limited inspection only of declared activities and facilities. But the generalization of the Additional Protocol could act as an incentive for Israel to join the NPT at some point in the process.

102

International Atomic Energy Agency, Board of Governors, 23 december 2006 <http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2006/gov2006-14.pdf>. 103 United Nations, Security Council Resolution 1737 (2006), 23 December 2006 <http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sc8928.doc.htm>. 104 International Atomic Energy Agency, Status of Additional Protocols as of 12 September 2010 <http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/SV/Safeguards/sg_protocol.html>. 105 The Small Quantities Protocol allows for the possession of up to 10 tons of natural uranium or 20 tons of depleted uranium, and 2.2 pounds of plutonium without reporting (see: Center for Defense Information: http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=3050&from_page=../index.cfm).

27
7.2.3.2. Second, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), concluded in 1996 and still not in force: within the Middle East region, eight out of fifteen states signed and ratified the treaty (Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Turkey, and the UAE), while five signed it but did not ratify it (Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Yemen), and two did not sign it (Saudi Arabia and Syria).
106

What is more worrying is the

fact that the treaty cannot enter into force unless some of those states ratify it. Among those 44 so-called Annex-2 States, which possessed nuclear power or research reactors in 1996 and were thus granted a right of veto on the entry into force of the treaty, indeed are Egypt, Iran and Israel.
107

It is worth noting that

Saudi Arabia is not even party to the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 prohibiting nuclear tests in all environments except underground, while Egypt, Iran and Israel are. So, signing and ratification of the CTBT by Saudi Arabia and Syria, and its ratification by Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Yemen would pave the way for a WMD-free zone. All those states apart from Israel are already party to the NPT and therefore committed not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. They all are, except Saudi Arabia, party to the Partial Test Ban Treaty in whose Preamble they agreed to seek to achieve the discontinuance of all test explosions of nuclear weapons for all time. So for those states, becoming party to the CTBT would only mean the implementation of previous commitments. For Israel (which has been convinced to sign the treaty by the credibility of its verification regime), ratifying the treaty would contribute to its entry into force, and therefore imposing constraints among others on Iran. Since Israel has been able to develop its nuclear capacity without substantial nuclear testing,
108

it should not feel more constrained by its ratification. A contrario, retaining the

possibility of testing nuclear weapons would not make great sense for Israel since it could not conceal such an activity (especially thanks to the existing verification system put into place by the CTBT Preparatory Committee and already operational), and testing would detract from its policy of ambiguity. Finally, as a signatory of the CTBT, Israel is bound by Article 18 of the Vienna Convention not to defeat the object and purpose of the treaty. 7.2.3.3. Third, establishment of a multilateral nuclear fuel bank with assurances of supply to countries with peaceful nuclear programmes, mostly Iran. Kazakhstan has offered to host it, which was welcomed by Iran.
109

It would help Iran terminate its controversial domestic uranium enrichment programme, which

Iran justifies by the need to rely on nuclear fuel for its future power plants whose planning is still uncertain. Iran explains its domestic enrichment programme by its negative experience with external

106

Preparatory Committee, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, Status of Signature and Ratification <http://www.ctbto.org/the-treaty/status-of-signature-and-ratification/>. 107 Apart from those states, the following Annex-2 states still need to ratify the treaty to allow its entry into force: China, and the United States; and the following ones need to sign it: India, North Korea, and Pakistan. 108 There is no conclusive evidence that Israel exploded a nuclear device off the coast of South Africa in 1979. See: Cirincione, Joseph. Deadly Arsenals Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC, 2002, p. 226. 109 Reuters, Iran Supports US-backed Nuclear Fuel Bank Idea, 7 April 2009 <http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/7715>.

28
supply of nuclear fuel. The IAEA has already worked on this proposal, mainly by the United States,
111 110

and funding has been pledged


114

the European Union,

112

Russia,

113

Norway,

the UAE,

115

and Kuwait.

116

Russia and the IAEA have already jointly established a fuel bank located in Russia, which could provide nuclear fuel in case of emergency or disruption on international markets.
117

The implementation of this

project should put an end to the current crisis with Iran, and lead to the eventual lifting of the sanctions imposed by the US and the UN Security Council. Coupled with the implementation of the Additional Protocol, it would reassure the international community, and in particular Israel, about the Iranian intentions and nuclear activities. Such a project would be in line with the Statement of Principles of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) launched in 2007 and to which, from the MENA region, Jordan and Morocco already participate.
118

In June 2010, the GNEP turned itself into an International


119

Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC), and was joined also by Kuwait and Oman.

7.2.3.4. Fourth, with respect to the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons (from uranium enrichment and/or plutonium separation), Israel should adopt an indefinite moratorium, the terms of which would be consistent with its policy of ambiguity.
120

This could be part of a bilateral agreement with the

United States, which Washington could confirm under jointly agreed terms. Israel, reassured about the discontinuance of Irans uranium enrichment programme, and presumably already possessing sufficient stockpiles of fissile material,
121

should be able to make this gesture that would not affect its security but

would help build the confidence of the international community that, eventually, it would renounce the nuclear option. Moreover, Israel would position itself to the level of the official nuclear-weapon states, four of which (France, Russia, US, UK) have declared moratoria on fissile material production while China has

110

International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA Seeks Guarantees of Nuclear Fuel, 15 September 2006 <http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/PressReleases/2006/prn200615.html>. 111 International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA Welcomes US Contribution of $50 million to Nuclear Fuel Bank, 9 January 2008 <http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2008/usdonation.html>. 112 International Atomic Energy Agency, Fuel Bank Initiative Receives Crucial EU Support, 18 December 2008 <http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2008/fuelbank.html>. 113 Pomper, Miles. Russia Offers to Jump-start IAEA Fuel Bank, Arms Control Today, October 2007 <http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2007_10/RussiaOffer>. 114 International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA Welcomes US Contribution of $50 million to Nuclear Fuel Bank, 9 January 2008 <http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2008/usdonation.html>. 115 Emirates News Agency, Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Meets Korean and Chilean Presidents, 13 April 2010 <http://www.wam.org.ae/servlet/Satellite?c=WamLocEnews&cid=1267001201150&p=1135099400124&pagename= WAM%2FWamLocEnews%2FW-T-LEN-FullNews>. 116 International Atomic Energy Agency, Multinational Fuel Bank Proposal Reaches Key Milestone, 6 March 2009 <http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2009/fbankmilestone.html >. 117 Solash, Richard. Russia, IAEA Agree to Establish World's First Nuclear Fuel Bank, RFE/RL, 30 March 2010 <<http://www.rferl.org/content/Russia_IAEA_Agree_To_Establish_Worlds_First_Nuclear_Fuel_Bank/1997174.html>. 118 See: http://gneppartnership.org/. 119 See: http://www.gneppartnership.org/index.htm. 120 Perkovich, George et al., Universal Compliance A Strategy for Nuclear Security, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC, March 2005, p. 183. 121 According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Israel has produced between 391 and 687 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium since 1964. See: Cirincione, Joseph. Deadly Arsenals Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction, op. cit. p. 221.

29
indicated privately that it has ceased such production.
123 122

In parallel, one can assume (or at least hope)

that a multilateral Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) will be eventually negotiated and concluded at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament (CD). Once the FMCT is in force (which may take some

time), unilateral moratoria can be replaced by a comprehensive verification system, although, in the meantime, compliance with moratoria can, to a certain extent, be verified through satellite imagery or other national technical means.
124

7.2.4. With regard to ballistic missiles, all states

125

of the region which are not yet Subscribing States to

the Hague Code of Conduct should join it. Those without significant missile capabilities (Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, and Qatar) would not be affected by those politically binding commitments, but would benefit from the exchange of information about the missile capabilities of the other regional states. The others (Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE, and Yemen) would also derive the same benefits in terms of transparency and confidence building, and, because they would all be part of this agreement, they would be encouraged to limit or control the level of their arsenals. Just as WMD cannot be isolated from conventional armaments, dealing with missiles cannot be separated from dealing with conventional armaments and WMD, because ballistic missiles can have both conventional and WMDtipped warheads. If all states of the region agreed to be part of a WMD-free zone, their ballistic missiles designed for the delivery of WMD would become useless. As part of a future regional security system, conventional missile capabilities could then be controlled in order to avoid imbalances and reduce the possibilities of aggressive use. Data to support such a regional agreement could be, at least partially, derived from regular reporting to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, which collects data on (a) Guided or unguided rockets, ballistic or cruise missiles capable of delivering a warhead or weapon of destruction to a range of at least 25 kilometres, and means designed or modified specifically for launching such missiles or rockets. . . . (b) Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems (MANPADS).
127 126

In order

to even strengthen mutual confidence and security, France has proposed to negotiate a treaty prohibiting short- and intermediate-range surface-to-surface missiles. a great value in such a region as the Middle East. 7.2.5. Other Non-proliferation Instruments: apart from multilateral treaties or codes of conduct to prevent proliferation, multilateral arms and technology transfer control regimes play an important role. However, This ambitious project would no doubt have

122

Zhang, Hui and von Hippel, Frank. Building Confidence in A Fissile Materials Production Moratorium, Open Forum, Vol. 3, 2000, p. 72. <http://www.unidir.org/pdf/articles/pdf-art139.pdf>. 123 Reaching Critical Will, CD Adopts a Programme of Work!, 29 May 2009 <http://reachingcriticalwill.blogspot.com/2009/05/cd-adopts-programme-of-work.html>. 124 Ibid. pp. 73-77. 125 This means all states of the region except Turkey. 126 United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Guidelines for Reporting International Transfers Questions and Answers, Annex III <http://disarmament.un.org/cab/register_files/Q&A%20booklet%20English.pdf>. 127 French Embassy to the United Kingdom, Presentation of SSBM Le Terrible Speech by M. Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the Republic, Cherbourg, 21 March 2008 <http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/President-Sarkozy-s-speechat,10430.html>.

30
no state from the Middle East (except for Turkey) is a member of any of them: the Zangger Committee and the Nuclear Suppliers Group for nuclear materials and technology, the Australia Group for chemical and biological weapons and precursors, the MTCR for missile technology, and the Wassenaar Arrangement for dual-use goods and technologies (recently expanded to cover man-portable air defence systems MANPADS as well as small arms and light weapons). This can be explained by the fact that few Middle Eastern countries apart from Israel produce or export such materials and technologies, and are more on the importing side. However, so-called emerging countries from the Middle East (Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.) may develop their own production in those areas in a near future, and it might then be justified for them to join these regimes in due time. In 2007, the MTCR partners proposed outreach to a number of countries inter alia from the Middle East (Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Syria, UEA, Yemen) to explain the rationale of export control lists.
128

With regard to Iran, UN Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006),


129

1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), and 1929 (2010) imposed restrictions on missile-related exports directly derived from the MTCR control lists, especially ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Among the other measures taken by the international community to prevent the spread of WMD is also the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), adopted in 2003. It aims at promoting agreements and partnerships designed to interdict threatening shipments of WMD and missile-related equipment and technologies. Although the founding members of PSI were basically western and like-minded countries, since then it has been supported by some 95 states. In particular, in the Middle East, among Participating States are listed: Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. If extended to North Africa, this list includes Libya (while shipments to this country were interdicted), Morocco and Tunisia.
130

Among the some 40 interdiction exercises organised within


131

PSI, some were conducted in the Arabian Sea.

However, no state from the Middle East other than

Turkey is a member of the Operational Experts Group (OEG) of PSI, which implies closer cooperation and active participation in exercises. Among the five cases of interdiction registered since 2005 and described in a May 2008 briefing at the US Department of State, three involved shipments to Iran, and two to Syria.
132

7.2.6. Regional Security System: already during the multilateral negotiations that took place after the 1991 Madrid Conference (Arms Control and Regional Security ACRS), the idea of coupling a WMD-free zone with a regional security system, including a Regional Security Centre (RSC) was contemplated.
133

As is well known, the talks broke down because of the Israeli refusal to discuss its nuclear capacity.
128 129

SIPRI Yearbook 2008 Armaments, Disarmament and Security, op. cit. pp. 500. Ibid. p. 501. 130 US Department of State, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, PSI Participants <http://www.state.gov/t/isn/c27732.htm>. 131 US Congressional Research Service, The Proliferation Security Initiative, 4 February 2008 <http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL34327.pdf>. 132 Wade, Boese. Interdiction Initiative Successes Assessed, Arms Control Association, July/August 2008 <http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2008_07-08/Interdiction>. 133 See Yaffe, Michael. D. Promoting Arms Control and Regional Security in the Middle East, Disarmament Forum, No. 2, 2001 <www.unidir.org/pdf/articles/pdf-art67.pdf >.

31
However this concept has been further discussed in Track-Two and public meetings. Recently it has resurfaced as one of the sweeteners that the United States has offered to Israel as a way of compensating a settlement freeze extension designed to allow direct negotiations with the Palestinians to continue. According to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington pledge[d] to engage Israel and Arab states in discussions of a regional security architecture, addressing the need for more consultations on Iran. Although such a structure would not be formalized until a peace deal is reached, the United States would begin preparing the groundwork in advance.
134

Needless to say, such an achievement

seems at this stage only a long-term perspective. However, it is not too early to begin convincing all the states of the region of the need to integrate them into a system in which mutual security would be guaranteed not only by internal mechanisms but also by external powers. In a first stage, Israel could be encouraged to accept relinquishing its nuclear capacity by positive security assurances from the United States against any aggression from the region (as it has done for instance with Japan or South Korea). 8. Conclusions

The above steps recommended to promote progress towards a WMD-free zone in the Middle East would be part of an incremental and comprehensive approach. They could be taken and implemented in a coordinated, but not necessarily sequential manner, with the support of the international community, in particular the United Nations, as well as reputable NGOs and think-tanks. The states that are still reluctant to become party to multilateral disarmament or non-proliferation agreements must be convinced by those which have done so that their security has not been diminished but to a large extent increased. Moreover, the experience of other regions in the establishment and functioning of nuclear-weapon-free zones (e.g. in Latin America, the South Pacific, South East Asia, or Africa) could be helpful to the Middle East despite the regions specificities.

Below is a table summarising those recommendations for each state of the Middle East (green background implies no new action).

134

Makovsky, David. Dear Prime Minister: U.S. Efforts to Keep the Peace Process on Track, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 29 September 2010 <http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=3256>.

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1) Conventional Armaments
STATE UN Standardized Reporting System on Military Spending Send reports UN Register of Conventional Arms Send reports Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) + Protocols Accede to Convention & all Protocols Ratify & accede to all Protocols Accede to Convention & all Protocols Accede to Convention & all Protocols Accede to Amended Art. I, Protocols III & V Accede to Amended Art. I, Protocols IV & V Accede to Convention & all Protocols Accede to Convention & all Protocols Accede to Convention & all Protocols Accede to Convention & all Protocols Accede to Amended Art. I, Protocols II & V Accede to Convention & all Protocols Accede to Protocols II, III & V Accede to Amended Art. I, Protocols II & IV Accede to Convention & all Protocols Antipersonnel Landmines Treaty Accede Treaty on Cluster Munitions Accede

Bahrain

Egypt

Send reports

Send more reports Send more reports

Accede

Accede

Iran

Send reports

Accede

Accede

Iraq

Send reports

Send reports

(State Party) Accede

Ratify Accede

Israel

Send more reports

Continue to send reports Send more reports Send more reports Send more reports Send more reports Send more reports

Jordan

Send more reports

(State Party)

Accede

Kuwait

Send reports

(State Party)

Accede

Lebanon

Send more reports

Accede

Ratify

Oman

Send reports

Accede

Accede

Qatar

Send more reports

(State Party)

Accede

Saudi Arabia

Send reports

Send reports

Accede

Accede

Syria

Send reports

Send reports

Accede

Accede Accede

Turkey United Arab Emirates Yemen

Continue to send reports

Continue to send reports

(State Party)

Send reports

Send reports

Accede

Accede

Send reports

Send reports

(State Party)

Accede

33
2) Weapons of Mass Destruction
IAEA Safeguards Agreement IAEA Additional Protocol NonProliferation Treaty (NPT) 1925 Geneva Protocol Biological Weapons Convention (BTWC) Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Hague Code of Conduct (HCOC) Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

STATE

CTBT

Bahrain

(Signed & ratified) Ratify

(State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) Sign & ratify when acceding to the NPT (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party)

Sign & ratify Sign & ratify Ratify

(State Party)

Lift reservations (State Party without reservations) (State Party without reservations) Lift reservations Lift reservations Lift reservations Lift reservations (State Party without reservations) Accede (State Party without reservations) (State Party without reservations) Lift reservations (State Party without reservations) Accede (State Party without reservations)

(State Party) Ratify (State Party) (State Party)

(State Party)

Accede

(Participating State) Accede

Egypt

(State Party)

Accede

Accede

Iran

Ratify

(State Party)

(State Party)

Accede

Accede (Participating State) (Participating State) (Participating State) (Participating State) Accede (Participating State) (Participating State) (Participating State) Accede (Participating State) (Participating State) (Participating State)

Iraq

Ratify

Ratify

(State Party)

(State Party)

Accede

Israel

Ratify

Sign & ratify (State Party) (State Party) Sign & ratify Sign & ratify Sign & ratify Sign & ratify Sign & ratify (State Party) (State Party) Sign & ratify

Accede

Accede

Ratify

Accede

Jordan

(Signed & ratified) (Signed & ratified) (Signed & ratified) (Signed & ratified) (Signed & ratified) Sign & ratify Sign & ratify (Signed & ratified) (Signed & ratified) Ratify

(State Party)

(State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) (State Party) Ratify (State Party) Ratify (State Party)

(State Party)

Accede

Kuwait

(State Party)

(State Party)

Accede

Lebanon

(State Party)

(State Party)

Accede

Oman

(State Party)

(State Party)

Accede

Qatar Saudi Arabia Syria

(State Party)

(State Party)

Accede

(State Party)

(State Party

Accede

(State Party)

Accede

Accede (Subscribi ng State) Accede

Turkey United Arab Emirates Yemen

(State Party)

(State Party)

(State Party)

(State Party)

(State Party)

(State Party)

Accede