IAEA chief says Mideast 'ticking bomb' - Israel News, Ynetnews

   Israel News

Israel News
World News
Israel Opinion
Israel Business
Israel Culture
Israel Travel
Nuclear Threat

ElBaradei, concerned Photo: AP
ElBaradei, concerned Photo: AP
Nuclear facility in Iran Photo: AP
Nuclear facility in Iran Photo: AP

IAEA chief says Mideast 'ticking bomb'

UN nuclear watchdog head says number of potential nuclear weapons states could more than double in coming years, with particularly great threat in Middle East. Expresses concern of 'more extremist groups trying to get hands on nuclear weapons'

Published: 05.15.09, 08:27 / Israel News

The number of potential nuclear weapons states could more than double in the next few years unless major powers take radical steps towards disarmament, the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog was quoted saying on Friday.


Mohamed ElBaradei said the threat of proliferation was particularly great in the Middle East and the international regime designed to limit the spread of nuclear weapons was at risk of falling apart, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Obama Administration
Israel: Signing NPT won't prevent nuclear armament  / Roni Sofer
After US urges Israel to sign anti-nuclear arms pact, Foreign Ministry official says 'it is hard to understand insistence on treaty that has proven its inefficiency'; professor: Americans aware that Israel signing document is unrealistic. Foreign Ministry spokesman says 'no change in close dialogue with Washington'
Full Story


"Any regime ... has to have a sense of fairness and equity and it is not there," ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in an interview with the paper.


He predicted the next wave of proliferation would involve "virtual nuclear states" which could produce plutonium or highly enriched uranium and would have the knowhow to make warheads, but would stop just short of assembling a weapon.


Such states would remain technically compliant with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) while being within a couple of months of deploying and using a weapon, he said.


"This is the phenomenon we see now and what people worry about in Iran", he was quoted as saying. "And this phenomenon goes much beyond Iran. Pretty soon ... you will have nine weapons states and probably another 10 or 20 virtual weapons states."


The Middle East is a "ticking bomb" because people feel totally repressed by their own governments and unjustly treated by the outside world, said ElBaradei, who is due to retire in November after more than 11 years leading the IAEA.


It would be no surprise to see "more and more extremist groups trying to get their hands on nuclear weapons or nuclear materials," he said.


The acquisition of nuclear weapons by a terrorist group is the greatest threat facing the world, ElBaradei said, noting the rise of the Taliban in Pakistan: "We are worried because there is a war in a country with nuclear weapons."


commentcomment   PrintPrint  Send to friendSend to friend   
Tag with Del.icio.us Bookmark to del.icio.us

9 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks
Please wait for the talkbacks to load


RSS RSS | About | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of use | Advertise with us | Site Map

Site developed by  YIT Advanced Technology Solutions