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At least thirteen countries throughout the greater Middle East have announced new or revived plans to explore civilian nuclear energy.They have spoken of the need for energy diversification to meet growing electricity demand, and cite the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear power. This surge of interest is consistent with a worldwide trend likened to a ‘nuclear renaissance’. Yet political factors have also motivated the renewed interest in nuclear energy in the Middle East, including competition with Iran and concern about its determined pursuit of technologies that appear designed to provide it with a nuclear-weapons capability.This IISS Strategic Dossier on nuclear programmes in the Middle East provides a comprehensive overview of the history of nuclear programmes in the region, an evaluation of national nuclear capabilities and policies, and an analysis of future aspirations. The fact-rich country profiles, which include Israel and Turkey, also assess how each state may react to an Iranian nuclear-weapons capability. In addition to analysing the proliferation risks inherent in the nuclear fuel cycle, the dossier assesses policy options,including possible regional arms-control measures, that can help allow atomic energy to be harnessed for peaceful uses without engendering a ‘proliferation cascade’.The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), founded in 1958, is an independent centre for research, information and debate on the problems of conflict, however caused, that have, or potentially have, an important military content.

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