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Princeton report charts a step-by-step path toward a nuclear weapons-free Middle East
Date:12/24/2013

ate plutonium nor would it build a facility capable of doing so. Iran also agreed that it would not enrich uranium above the 5 percent level used for power reactors, and that it would reduce its stockpile of already enriched uranium. These measures, the report notes, would serve as significant barriers to any Iranian effort using civilian facilities to quickly and secretly produce materials for nuclear weapons.

Although the report does not specifically discuss chemical and biological weapons, the researchers stress the importance of all countries in the region complying with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological Weapons Convention. This has become particularly important in light of chemical weapons use in Syria in 2013, and the country's subsequent decision to agree to the CWC, declare its stockpile and destroy its weapons. The researchers say that Egypt and Israel, now the only countries in the region that have not joined the CWC, should follow suit.

To verify that all countries are complying with their commitments, the IPFM report suggests Middle East states consider a regional organization that could supplement the inspection activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, that work respectively to assure that countries are upholding the NPT treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"Such an organization would provide all countries of the region an additional basis for confidence that all their neighbors are complying with the obligations they will undertake by joining a zone free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction," said Seyed Hossein Mousavian, who has been with the Program on Science and Global Security since 2010 and formerly served as a member of staff to Iran's Supreme National Security Council and as Iran's ambassador to Germany.

This is the 11th report issued by IPFM, and it has also released its seventh Global Fi
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Contact: B. Rose Huber
brhuber@princeton.edu
609-258-0157
Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Source:Eurekalert  

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