There are two current trends in the Middle East that threaten to enable a nuclear arms race. A third offers a way to prevent it.
The first concerns the very aggressive pace of Russia’s efforts to expand its influence throughout the Middle East from Egypt through Syria to Iran, and in the process to displace the United States as the preeminent power in the region. This is not a new phenomenon. For centuries, Russia has sought to gain assured access to the world’s oceans and to overcome the impediments posed for example, by the Bosporus and Turkish Straits which stand in the way of that access. Their ultimate goal is to ensure access to distant critical resources and to control choke points vital to the flow of global maritime commerce.