Verification will be of critical importance to achieving and maintaining a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction (ME WMD). Effective verification arrangements would serve a vital national security objective for each state in the region by reducing tensions, removing the motivation to proliferate, and mitigating the risk of a virtual nuclear arms race (or war). In view of the high levels of tension and mistrust within the zone, ensuring effective verification will be especially demanding. The paper examines specific elements of the future nuclear verification of the zone, including: Which states should be included? What prohibitions and obligations should apply in the zone and how would they be verified? How could elimination of nuclear weapons in the zone be achieved? On what basis would the zone treaty enter into force?

The paper also examines a number of existing treaties and arrangements as well as the lessons learned from past verification cases which regional states can draw on in developing verification for a Middle East nuclear-weapon-free zone.

Citation: John Carlson (2021) "Nuclear Verification in a Middle East WMD Free Zone," UNIDIR, Geneva, Switzerland.

Sponsor Organizations: The ME WMDFZ Project is carried out with funding by the European Union