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Author`s name Ольга Савка

40 countries to become nuclear powers

It is not only Iran or North Korea, which may raise concerns about nuclear developments

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammad el-Baradei, said at a conference in Vienna that over 40 countries had nuclear programs developing. However, Baradei added, the countries might aim their programs at the creation of the nuclear weapon.

El-Baradei enumerated those countries, although experts believed that the IAEA's head implicated Iran, South Korea, several states in Europe, Asia, South Africa, Latin America and Canada, first and foremost. In other words, almost every part of the globe has a country (or countries), which may produce nuclear arms within several years.

The key document to regulate the issues of nuclear arms possessions is the Non-Proliferation Treaty, signed in 1986. According to the treaty, there are two categories of countries: nuclear and non-nuclear powers. Russia, the USA, Great Britain, France and China are de jure referred to the first category. All other states are categorized as denuclearized. The treaty binds the 185 signatory states not to produce or purchase nuclear weapons and recognize the control on the part of the IAEA. The document, however, does not make the countries shut down nuclear developments. The treaty only bans the proliferation of the nuclear weapon.

The treaty was originally concluded for the period of 25 years, it came into effect in 1970. The term of the document was prolonged in 1995. Several countries have never joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty at all. Two of those states have nuclear arms in their possessions – India and Pakistan. Israel is not a member of the treaty either, although Israeli authorities have never confirmed or rejected the nuclear possession of the state. North Korea pulled out from the treaty in 2003, which became an expression of the nation's protest against the US's pressure.

The countries that have nuclear programs are: Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and South African Republic. According to this list, it is not only Iran or North Korea, which may raise concerns about nuclear developments.

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