The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East poses the greatest threat to world peace since the end of World War II.
Four distinct types of weapons are involved: chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, and long-range delivery vectors such as ballistic missiles or Iraq’s “super-gun.”
Four Middle Eastern nations have spent large sums of money to acquire these weapons and technologies: Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran.
Except for Iran, all are still in a state of war with Israel. While none of these four is yet believed to have acquired nuclear weapons, Iraq. Syria and Libya have extensive arsenals of chemical weapons, and at least two – Iraq and Libya – have used them in combat.
In a speech broadcast by Iraqi television on April 2, 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein threatened to “burn half of Israel” in the event of an Israeli attack on Iraq. Later, Iraq’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Abdul-Amir al Anbari, extended the definition of an Israeli attack to include an attack by US. warplanes, since their pilots were really Jews in disguise “who have been issued American passports and whose planes have received American markings… (BBC World Service, August 8, 1990). By Iraqi accounts these threats, if carried out, would involve a massive launch of haqi-made ballistic missiles loaded with poison gas against Israel’s densely-populated coastal plain. The death toll from such an attack could reach into the hundreds of thousands.