In The Zone – Episode 7 – The JCPOA and the other parties

In this special episode of In The Zone we have taken some of the best bits from our recent webinar, organized in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, featuring four representative perspectives on the Iranian nuclear deal and its relationship with the proposal to set up a WMD-Free Zone across the Middle East.

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What role for the other parties to the JCPOA?

In recent months, the focus on the Iran Nuclear Deal (the JCPOA) has been on the United States (who unilaterally withdrew from the agreement under the Trump presidency) and on Iran (who subsequently started to stop compliance with some of the agreement’s terms).

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In The Zone – Episode 6 – Wael Al Assad

In episode 6 of In The Zone, Sharon Dolev and Paul Ingram interview Wael Al Assad, currently a senior adviser to the Qatari National Committee for the prohibition of weapons and a senior fellow on the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone project. In this interview, Wael talks about the benefits of the WMDFZ to all countries of the region, the need for all sides (Arab, Israelis and Iranians) to drop the rhetoric and to start to negotiate in good faith, the strategy used by METO to move things forward by the development of a draft treaty text, and he calls on the major external powers with interests in the region to allow the states to negotiate without interference.

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METO statement marking International Women’s Day, 2021

This International Women’s Day, the Middle East Treaty Organisation (METO) celebrates the women central to global peacebuilding and disarmament. 

METO is proud to be led by a woman and, as a team, is 50% composed of women of colour who embody a diverse range of individuals contributing to the effort to research into, promote and establish a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East. 

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In The Zone – Episode 5 – Renata Dwan

In the fifth episode of In The Zone, published on March 8th 2021 to coincide with International Women’s Day, Anahita Parsa and Paul Ingram interview Renata Dwan, former head of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and current Senior Executive Officer of Chatham House in the UK. In this interview, Renata talks about the background to the UNIDIR Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone Project, the importance of all sides in the region reflecting on their own situation and the situations that others find themselves in as a result of conflict, and the increasingly important topic of the intersection of gender, and diversity of representation in general, with disarmament.

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In The Zone – Episode 4 – Karim Haggag

In the fourth podcast in our series, In The Zone, Anahita Parsa and Paul Ingram interview Ambassador Karim Haggag from Egypt, a career diplomat with over 25 years of service, who is now a professor of practice at the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo. In this interview, the Ambassador talks about how he developed his interest in regional disarmament, the sense of injustice with which the international community responds to the issue of proliferation in the Middle East, Egypt’s concerns when it comes to any country possessing WMD, how states could be incentivised to form the WMD-Free Zone, the prospects for progress under the Biden Administration, and how the recently signed Abraham Accords may provide an opportunity for Israel and the United States to engage in the UN-mandated process to negotiate a WMDFZ treaty.

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The Middle East: Is there light at the end of the Long Corridor?

Marc Finaud, Tony Robinson, and Mona Saleh[i]

Recent developments in the Middle East and the arrival of the Biden administration offer unique opportunities to improve regional security. However, obstacles on the way to such progress have far from disappeared.

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