Israel's Potential Future Ratification of the CTBT

Israel’s permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Merav Zafary-Odiz said “a regional moratorium [on nuclear testing] could enhance security, and potentially lead to a future ratification of the CTBT. Israel has announced its commitment to a moratorium, it would be useful for others to do the same.”

Zafary-Odiz’s statement came during a Jan. 27 panel at the CTBTO’s Symposium on “Science and Diplomacy for Peace and Security” in Vienna. She also noted that a region-wide test ban would enhance security throughout the Middle East region and could be used as an aspect to establishing a Middle East Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction-Free Zone.

During the same conference, CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said Israel and Iran were “the closest” towards ratification of the CTBT out of the eight remaining Annex 2 states, whose ratifications of the treaty are necessary for the CTBT’s entry into force.

Zerbo said that having Iran and Israel both ratify the CTBT would “certainly” lead to Egypt’s ratification, thus paving the way for a nuclear test-free zone in the Middle East.