Wed, May 07, 2008 - Page 6 News List

NATO leader warns of nations seeking nuclear weapons


NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has warned that more nations may follow the examples of Iran and North Korea and work to develop nuclear weapons.

He said on Monday that the possibility that Syria could be building a weapons-capable nuclear reactor showed that NATO must find an answer to ballistic missile threats.

“The nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea threaten to set in motion a domino effect that will be difficult to contain,” de Hoop Scheffer said in a speech at a missile defense conference at the Czech Foreign Ministry.

“If there is a serious suspicion that in Syria there was a facility in the making, it only increases the arguments ... for finding a collective answer to a ballistic missile defense threat,” the NATO chief said.

CIA Director Michael Hayden said last month the alleged Syrian nuclear reactor — destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in September — would have produced enough plutonium for one or two bombs within a year of becoming operational.

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