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U.S. Says Five Other Countries Have Biological-Weapons Programs


31 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A new U.S. State Department report says evidence indicates that Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Syria continue to maintain biological-weapons programs.

The report says China maintains "some elements" of an offensive biological weapons program. The study says U.S. government experts were divided on whether Cuba is trying to develop a weapons capability.

All six countries had been linked previously in varying degrees to biological-weapons programs.

The congressionally mandated study assesses compliance by foreign countries with arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements. It covers developments over a two-year period ending in December 2004.

The study does not examine nuclear programs in Pakistan, India, and Israel because none is a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and have not undertaken obligations to comply with the treaty's terms. It also does not examine U.S. military programs.

(AP)
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