Egypt Flag for Egypt

Country Spotlight

Egypt has a history of pursuing weapons of mass destruction, and used chemical weapons during its intervention in the North Yemen Civil War of the 1960s. However, Egypt today is a strong supporter of nonproliferation efforts, including a proposal to create a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East.

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Region   Middle East and North Africa

1960s Deployed chemical weapons

1981 Ratified the NPT

2 Nuclear research reactors

3 Nuclear power plants under construction


  • Harbored nuclear ambitions in the 1960s but halted efforts in 1973
  • Proponent of WMD Free Zone in Middle East
  • Began construction on first of four Russian-supplied nuclear reactors in July 2022

Egypt Nuclear Overview


  • Strongly denies accusations of research into anthrax, plague, and botulinum toxin for military purposes
  • Limited open-source information indicating an offensive biological weapons program
  • Refuses to ratify BTWC, pointing to Israel’s non-membership status

Egypt Biological Overview


  • Possesses ballistic, cruise, and air defense missiles
  • Pursued indigenous programs from 1948-1970
  • Received missiles and assistance from North Korea, Iraq, Argentina, Russia, and the U.S.

Egypt Missile Overview


  • Deployed chemical weapons in the North Yemen Civil War from 1963-1967
  • Maintains defensive chemical weapon capabilities
  • Refuses to join the CWC in protest of Israel’s nuclear weapons

Egypt Chemical Overview

Treaties and Regimes Memberships

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The NPT is a treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons through the three pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

The BTWC mandates the elimination of existing biological weapons and prohibits developing, stockpiling, or using biological and toxin weapons.

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Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosion tests on Earth. It needs eight key countries to ratify before entry into force.

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Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires countries to destroy all chemical weapons and prohibits developing, stockpiling, or using chemical weapons.

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