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Nuclear Programs

Satellite image showing Israel's most important nuclear facility at Dimona, in the Negev Desert/ Source: Globalsecurity.org
Satellite image showing Israel’s most important nuclear facility at Dimona, in the Negev Desert/ Source: Globalsecurity.org

Far from being new, as most people believe, the nuclearization of the Middle East has been going on for almost sixty years. As of early 2010 the region has two countries with active nuclear programs: Israel and Iran. Nuclear Programs offers a brief survey of these programs, as well as of the less developed programs of some other countries, and an attempt to evaluate the impact that the programs in question have had on the politics of the region so far.

Further Reading

Israel's nuclear program dates back to the early years of the state. Apart from scientific research, the program is almost entirely military in nature.
Iran's nuclear program dates back to the 1970s when Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi decided that oil in the ground was better than dollars in the bank
The Iraqi nuclear program dates back to the 1970s. The means by which Iraq tried to obtain nuclear weapons were diverse. In 1976, France sold Iraq a 40 megawatt test reactor called the Tammuz-1 reactor, or Osirak. The reactor was ...
Though Egypt has long had the financial resources and technical expertise to build a reactor, during the 1980s it all but suspended its nuclear program.
Partly by way of a reaction to the above-described Israeli and Iranian programs, in recent years several other Middle Eastern countries have expressed interest in this question.
Looking back on the history of the Middle East, the political-military impact of the various nuclear programs, both the Israeli one (which according to all reports has borne fruit) and the rest (which have not yet done so) has bee...

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