Nukes breed nukes, warns ElBaradei | india | Hindustan Times
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Nukes breed nukes, warns ElBaradei

The head of the UN atomic watchdog has warned that world powers must renounce nuclear arms.

india Updated: May 26, 2006 08:57 IST

The head of the UN atomic watchdog has warned that world powers must renounce nuclear arms or accept that more and more countries will manage to secure their own bombs.

"Nukes breed nukes," Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a speech at an international affairs graduate school in Washington on Thursday.

"As long as some nations continue to insist that nuclear weapons are essential to their security, other nations will want them," said ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his efforts to stem nuclear proliferation.

"We are reaching a fork in the road. Either we must begin moving away from a security system based on nuclear weapons, or we should resign ourselves to President John F Kennedy's 1960s prediction of a world with 20 to 30 nuclear-weapon states," he said.

Painting a gloomy picture, ElBaradei said if existing nuclear powers failed to lead by example and give up the weapons, other states would inevitably seek to join the nuclear club.

"Efforts to control the spread of such weapons will only be delaying the inevitable -- a world in which each country or group has laid claim to its own nuclear weapon," he said.

ElBaradei spoke to the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), part of Johns Hopkins University, a day after holding talks with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other US officials on Iran's disputed nuclear programme.