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Building Capacity for a WMD-Free Middle East*

WMD-free zones have already been successfully established elsewhere in the world, including in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific and South East Asia. Rich expertise exists from the establishment of those zones, both on navigating political blockages and on developing the necessary technical capacity to deliver an agreement, which could provide valuable lessons for the Middle East. This article reviews the potential utility of focusing on the technical capacity that would be needed to support a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East.

E3+3 (P5+1) meet tomorrow with Iran in Kazakhstan

The E3+3 (P5+1: United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and Germany) will meet with Iran on Tuesday for official talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the first formal meeting in eight months. These talks follow last week’s update report from the IAEA on Iran’s nuclear program, indicating that a new type of centrifuge was installed at Iran’s main uranium enrichment plant, Natanz, that could speed up the enrichment process, and increase the accumulation of 20 per cent low-enriched uranium.

Iran meets with IAEA representatives again

Representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran will meet in Tehran on Wednesday of this week to discuss inspections and verification arrangements. The meeting follows several previous unsuccessful attempts between the two sides to agree on a path forward on how to address the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.

The E3+3 discuss Iran after release of IAEA report

On Wednesday, Catherine Ashton, will host representatives from the E3+3 (P5+1: US, UK, China, Russia, France, and Germany) in Brussels to discuss continued efforts to find a diplomatic solution to discourage Iran from augmenting its nuclear program. Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has facilitated meetings between the E3+3 and Iran since 2009, which have so far yielded limited results.

The P5 Conferences and the Importance of Transparency

Expert government representatives from the NPT’s recognized nuclear weapon states (NWS, known as the P5 as they are also UN Security Council permanent members): China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, will gather in Washington, DC this Wednesday through Friday to discuss their cooperation on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in the context of the Treaty.

Iran’s Nuclear Impasse: Breaking the Deadlock

This report, published by Oxford Research Group, is based upon a series of consultations with individuals close to the decision making process on the Iranian nuclear file with the aim of envisioning a workable and realistic solution to the impasse. It looks into the principles that need to be observed in talks between the E3+3 and Iran over the coming months if they are to have any chance of success.

Iran Update: Number 152

Iran Update: Number 151

Getting to Zero Update

NATO proceeded quietly with its Strategic Deterrence and Defense Posture Review, while U.S. and Russian disagreements over missile defense continued. The United States was also conducting a review of nuclear targeting. In the United Kingdom, the “successor” to the Vanguard-class submarine that carries Trident missiles officially entered “Initial Gate,” or the initial design phase.

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