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British Minister Says Iran Nuclear Program Could Start Arms Race

British Foreign Secretary William Hague
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague says that Iran is clearly attempting to develop nuclear-weapons capability and if the country succeeds it could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Hague told the "Daily Telegraph" in an interview published on February 18 that if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, "I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons."

Hague said that in that scenario "the most serious round of nuclear proliferation since nuclear weapons were invented would have begun, with all the destabilizing effects in the Middle East, and the threat of a new Cold War in the Middle East."

He said the consequences of that would be "a disaster in world affairs."

Hague's comments come as Iran finds itself under increasing international sanctions for its pursuit of nuclear technology that Tehran claims is for peaceful purposes.

Compiled from agency reports