US congressional panel cites tipping point on nuclear proliferation

December 17th, 2008 - 4:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 17 (ANI): The development of nuclear arsenals by both Iran and North Korea could lead to a cascade of proliferation, making it more probable that terrorists could get their hands on an atomic weapon, a congressionally chartered commission has warned.

It appears that we are at a tipping point in proliferation, the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States said in an interim report to lawmakers that was released yesterday.

The bipartisan panel, led by former defense secretaries William J. Perry and James R. Schlesinger, added that actions by Tehran and Pyongyang could lead other countries to follow, and as each nuclear power is added, the probability of a terror group getting a nuclear bomb increases, the Washington Post reported.

Congress established the commission this year to examine and make recommendations on strategic policy and force structure, as well as to consider other ways to counter the nuclear threat.

The final report and recommendations were due this month, but after a slow start to its work, the panel pushed that date back to April, the paper said.

In the interim report, the commission called for a global nonproliferation strategy as the best way to keep nuclear materials out of terrorists hands.

Such a US effort would require intense cooperation with other nations, especially other nuclear powers and with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the panel added.

It called for strong U.S. financial, technical and political support to the IAEA, a target of criticism from the Bush administration.

At the same time, the commission called for the United States to begin discussing with allies how to strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty, The Post said. (ANI)

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