Many analysts believe we are on the verge of a cascade of nuclear weapons proliferation in the Middle East, prompted principally but not solely by Iran’s nuclear activities. But others regard such dire predictions as overstated, and key regional actors are pushing forward efforts to work toward a region free of weapons of mass destruction. This seminar will begin by thoroughly delving into the literature on why states do and don’t pursue nuclear weapons. We will then apply this literature to key countries in the Middle East. We will conclude by assessing three competing visions of the role of nuclear weapons in the future of the region--a highly nuclearized region, relative status quo, and a highly denuclearized region--and think systematically about how much traction theory and empirics give us on which is more likely to emerge and the conditions under which each is more or less likely to emerge. We will touch on chemical and biological weapons but our focus will be on nuclear weapons.