Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East

A Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East would address one of the most important factors in establishing stability and security in the region.

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) - chemical, biological and nuclear weapons - have already created severe anxiety in the region. The majority of cases of non-compliance with the NPT and the IAEA safeguards have occurred in the Middle East region and WMD in the form of chemical weapons have already been used in the region, demonstrating a willingness to cross thresholds that in other geographical areas are deemed taboo. With increasing interest in a WMD-free zone in the Middle East the very process of regional discussions on security matters would be an important step forward.

In light of the 2012 Conference on the Establishment of a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East, this project will examine the possible outcomes for the Conference and sound out the potential boundaries and possible common agreements for ways forward. It will employ the combined expertise on non-proliferation and disarmament and on the Middle East that exists in Chatham House.

As part of this, Chatham House will consult widely in the region and through publications, discussions and engagement seek to provide a forum for different states in the region in order to find common ground and reduce the political temperature surrounding current debate.