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Report Links 6 Nations to Biological Arms Efforts

From Associated Press

Evidence indicates that Russia, Iran, North Korea and Syria all continue to maintain biological weapons programs, the State Department said in a report released Tuesday.

The department said China maintained “some elements” of an offensive biological weapons program, and U.S. government experts were divided on whether Cuba was trying to develop such capability.

The study, mandated by Congress, 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 report said this about the six nations:

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* The United States reaffirms its judgment that China “maintains some elements of an offensive BW capability” in violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

* Some government analysts continue to believe Cuba has at least a “limited offensive BW research and development effort.”

* Based on “all available information,” Iran has an offensive biological weapons program.

* U.S. analysts believe North Korea has a “dedicated, national-level effort to develop a BW capability.”

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* Available evidence shows that Russia “continues to maintain” an offensive biological weapons program.

* The evidence shows that Syria would be violating the biological weapons convention rules if the nation were a member.


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