The Wall Street Journal reports:
The U.S. is negotiating with Egypt a proposal to make the Middle East a region free of nuclear weapons, as the U.S. seeks to prevent Iran from derailing a monthlong U.N. conference on nuclear nonproliferation that begins Monday.
U.S. officials familiar with the move call it an important step in assuring countries that Washington—criticized by some for its silence about Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal—will equitably address weapons proliferation across the region, as Iran seeks to shift focus away from its own nuclear program.
But here’s the catch: before Washington applies any pressure on Israel, there must be significant progress in the peace process.
Still, there is one element here that should have been worthy of a headline of its own but doesn’t even get a mention in the article: the Obama administration seems to effectively be ending US complicity in Israel’s policy of nuclear ambiguity.
Another important part of this story that the WSJ article glides over without clarification is the reason the US is negotiating specifically with Egypt.
Washington is pushing for revisions to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to close some of its loopholes but for these to pass in the 189-nation conference, the US needs the support of the 118-non-aligned states led by Egypt. That support will not be forthcoming without some kind of agreement on a nuclear-free Middle East.