As Barack Obama, the US president, and Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's president, agree to sharp cuts in the most comprehensive arms control treaty in two decades, and the stand-off between Western countries and Iran continues over its nuclear programme, Iran's Arab neighbours in the Gulf consider their own nuclear ambitions – and their relationship with Tehran.
This week, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) proposed a Gulf dimension to jointly, with other Gulf countries, face nuclear challenges and form some kind of solidarity in finding solutions to nuclear issues, and getting Gulf neighbours involved in developing safe, secure and advanced nuclear energy programmes.
While nuclear giants Russia and the US agreed to reduce their stockpiles of weapons, some of the brightest minds in nuclear science have gathered in Bahrain to discuss the future of nuclear energy in the Gulf and how to avert nuclear catastrophe.
Can the GCC show genuine signs of trust to get Iran in on board? The benefits are mutual. Iran would have a face-saving end to its long standing deadlock with the Western world. And that would bring the GCC the long-sought peace of mind.
Joining the programme are Bruno Pellaud, the former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the former deputy to Mohamed El-Baradei, Maurizio Martellini, the scientific director at the Centre on International Security at the University of Insubria and the executive secretary of the International Working Group – Landau Network Centro Volta, and Helmut Hirsch, a scientific consultant for nuclear safety.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, March 28, 2010.