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“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


“Barack Obama has again taken a prudent stance regarding the main sources of instability (Iran, Syria). Together with others, including the UN Secretary General, the U.S. was instrumental in brokering a cease-fire in the Gaza strip.  Given Obama's known views, it is to be expected that the negotiated reduction of nuclear forces between the U.S. and Russia will be resumed and that the Administration will renew efforts to get Senate approval for the ratification of the CTBT. Unfortunately, modernization of the nuclear arsenal seems to continue in both the U.S. and Russia”, - Ambassador (ret.), High Representative of the United Nations for Disarmament Affairs (2007-2012), Sergio Duarte.


“The signs are ominous at the moment, there are rumblings that he 2012 Conference on a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East will not take place. And I think this is going to be a major set-back. Which is why I think my talking to you today is particularly timely, because I think there is an opportunity for Russia to use its considerable international influence in order to prevent the breakdown because if we do not have this meeting this December I fear that we are storing up trouble for ourselves and for the NPT for 2015”, – Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.


Postponing the Helsinki Conference, especially without setting a new date would actually mean its cancelation. What format can offer instead those who are not ready for discussion about the Middle East Zone Free of WMD today? WMD in the region is not only a political or legal question, or the question of the fate of the NPT. It is a real danger to the people of the region”, – Albert Zulkharneev, PIR Center Education and Training Program Director.


“Iran has great potential in the region because of very close relations with people of the Middle East. And we have announced that we are fully prepared to be helpful for the solution of the problems in the Middle East. We proved – this is part of history – that we could be very helpful when we all faced the problem of terrorism in Afghanistan. And everybody knows that while Iran was very helpful in that respect, instead of appreciating this, the Bush administration included Iran into the “Axis of Evil”. This kind of mentality shows that they do not care about what the countries are contributing, they just want influence. They occupied Iraq with the false pretext of the WMD and it is shameful that now they want this situation to be repeated”, - Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Vienna.


«Why don’t we internationalize, regionalize the Iranian sensitive technologies, and bring in Arab stakeholders? Iran will keep its initial facilities, but will have partners that will overlook the process and will be there on the board like in case of URENCO. This will have the advantage that we will be all watching each other but it will also imply the economy of scale and there will be no need for other countries to develop things that are already there», –  Mohamed Shaker, Chairman of Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs.


"Creation of a Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East is inseparably linked to the ongoing Middle East peace process. Luckily there is a feedback as well: development of sustained dialogue on the Zone can in turn facilitate the Middle East peace process, leading to creation of favorable atmosphere for further negotiations" - Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Security Index Journal Editorial Board member Sergey Ryabkov.