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“We were all distressed that the NPT Review Conference in May failed to reach a consensus outcome. As I told participants, this is regrettable – and worrying. The Conference was also unable to forge a common vision for the creation of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. I repeat my appeal to all States in the region and others with influence to renew their efforts to establish such a zone. I will do everything I can to advance this goal. I look to this Board for recommendations on what more we can do”, – the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.


«Nuclear disarmament and establishment of Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone in the Middle East are two main challenging areas that can potentially damage the whole nuclear nonproliferation regime architecture – or strengthen it, if dealt with properly and in a timely manner», – PIR Center's presentation “From Words to Actions: Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament from 2010 to 2015 and beyond”.



“The realm of international security, which was in your focus during this module, is constantly evolving and changing. However this obstacle makes it even more interesting to follow. And it will require a lot of time and effort from you to succeed in this highly competitive field,” – Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Ryabkov.


“Hassan Rouhani is a person who had proven himself to be a flexible negotiator on the nuclear program issue. 10 years ago, he was actively involved in finding possible solutions to the Iranian nuclear controversy, discussing these issues with Western partners and the Russian Federation. On the other hand, Rouhani remained frustrated with the time when Tehran and Washington had an opportunity to solve the problem, but the USA was not ready for such a broad agreement,” – PIR Center President Vladimir Orlov.


«Iranians believe that their most important neighbor is the United States, represented by the Fifth Fleet and US military bases, not to mention the troops in Afghanistan or UAV’s in Pakistan. This means that for Teheran the solution to its foreign security challenges is deeply connected to the relations with Washington», - PIR Center President Vladimir Orlov.


“One. The United States supports the goal of creating a nuclear- and WMD-free-zone in the Middle East. It will be difficult but it is achievable. Two. The United States supports the convening of a conference in Helsinki to begin such a discussion and such a process. This is also difficult, much less difficult, and it could happen very rapidly, provided the states of the region are prepared to engage each other directly into terming an agenda,” - US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman.


“The main reason why the Arab states had agreed to the indefinite extension of the NPT was that they wanted security from nuclear weapons. Now you are telling them that this is impossible, and the official nuclear powers, the members of the Middle East Quartet, are washing their hands. The Arab countries may well respond by saying, ‘In that case we are going to provide our own security, and we don't need the NPT for that,’” - Jayantha Dhanapala, President of the Pugwash Movement of Scientists.


“In Israel, a new government coalition was created. Despite the opinion that this coalition is unstable and unlikely to last for a long, I would have said the opposite - it is very stable. The new government will deal with the pressing problems of Israel, not with a scam with a Palestinian state, which is uninteresting for Israeli leaders and voters. If Ramallah was really interested in dialogue, not in provocations, it would start with any Israeli government”, - President of the Institute of Middle East Studies Evgeny Satanovsky.


“We cannot exclude the situation when Damascus would have to recognize its defeat and having nothing to lose might use the chemical weapons as the last resort. This however, will bring only temporary relief for the regime depriving it from all the international support it enjoys. Nevertheless, the recent cases of Iraq and Libya where the governmental forces even on the brink of collapse have never decided to use weapons of mass destruction seem to be in favor of a scenario where Assad’s regime will restrains itself from such a move," - PIR Center expert Alexander Plugarev


“The announcement recently published on the MFA website does not say that the Helsinki conference on the Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone has been postponed. In the text, we can only see that there are voices in favor of such postponement. In reality, this decision can be made only with the consent of the states within the region. The co-organizers of the conference: Russia, the U.S.A. and the UK, as well as the UN Secretary General are parties that were only requested to prepare the Helsinki conference in 2012. Therefore, without consensus of the regional states we do not have authority to make this decision”- Director of Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation