The JCPOA and the WMD-Free Zone

As the Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA as it is often referred to) continued to hog the spotlight of all international reporting on the Middle East, the Middle East Treaty Organization, together with our partners, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), organised a rather unique webinar bringing together the voices from important constituencies in the USA, namely Jewish Americans, Arab Americans and Iranian Americans to talk about the importance of the USA and Iran returning to full compliance with the JCPOA, in the context of a need to develop regional security within a WMD-free zone.

In the days prior to our webinar, while talks were underway in Vienna planning a roadmap for JCPOA compliance, the region was rocked by attacks on an Iranian ship and sabotage at Iran’s nuclear facility at Natanz, making our webinar extremely timely.

The speakers in our webinar, all from the USA were:

  • Dr. Ira Helfand – Co-president, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
  • Kelsey Davenport – Director of Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association
  • Jamal Abdi – Executive Director, National Iranian American Council (NIAC)
  • Dr. James Zogby – President of the Arab American Institute (AAI)
  • Dylan Williams – Senior Vice President for Policy and Strategy, J Street

Our own Sharon Dolev acted as moderator for the panel.

While Ira Helfand, outlined the global humanitarian consequences for any nuclear war no matter how confined geographically, Kelsey Davenport looked at the political challenges and possible paths forward for the zone. We then heard from prominent Iranian, Arab and Jewish organisations in the USA who gave their different perspectives on the situation. Time and time again the speakers called for the JCPOA to get back on track and for states to take a more regional approach to their development and security, something that METO has also called for and outlined in our recent paper in the Brown Journal of World Affairs.

The interventions by each of the speakers was recorded for posterity and can be found below.