Iran's Neighbors explore nuclear energy development
The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) proposed to create a multinational consortium to provide enriched uranium to Iran and to other users of the material in the Middle East. Under the plan, first reported on the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) web site in November 2007, a uranium enrichment plant would be established in a neutral country outside the Middle East. GCC members include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Iran rejected the proposal, which comes in the wake of increased interest in nuclear energy by Iran's neighbors. At the GCC summit in December 2006, members agreed to commission a “GCC-wide study [...] to formulate a joint program in the field of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, in keeping with international standards and regulations.” Since then, a number of countries in the region have pursued nuclear energy efforts, including:
Read reactions and analysis from around the world
A study by the Strategic Studies Institute examines what countries might do to deter and contain Iran and what should be done to assure Iran's neighbors not to follow in Tehran's nuclear footsteps, edited by Henry D. Sokolski and Patrick Clawson, 11-05 (PDF, 1.2 MB).
Stimson Center Working Paper: The Arab Gulf States in the Shadow of the Iranian Nuclear Challenge, 5-26-06 (PDF).
Nicole Stracke at the Gulf Research Center (Dubai) writes in the Daily Star about the significance of the GCC decision to initiate a nuclear research program, 3-3-07.
Chain Reaction: Avoiding a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East, Staff Report to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 2-08 (PDF, 1.44 MB).
WMD Insights survey's Arab states' response to Iran's nuclear program, "hedging through engagement...and nuclear development," 3-08.
U.S. State Department announces U.S.-Bahraini Memorandum of Understanding on Nuclear Energy Cooperation, 3-24-08.