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Tehran's decision to start enriching uranium

Iran sets off nuclear race in the Middle East


By —— Bio and Archives--May 21, 2008

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By David Blair, Diplomatic Editor, Telegraph

Iran’s neighbours began their nuclear programmes within months of Tehran’s decision to start enriching uranium, according to a new report.

In the 11 months that followed the onset of this procedure in Iran in 2006, 13 countries across the Middle East drew up new plans – or revived old ones – for building nuclear power stations.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies believes they were acting “in the shadow of Iran” and preparing for Tehran’s possible entry into the nuclear weapons club.

All the proposed nuclear programmes are civilian schemes designed to generate electricity. At present, there is no question of any international safeguards being breached. Yet if Iran were to test a nuclear bomb, every country in the Middle East would be forced to re-assess its defence policies.

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