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'Indo-Pak, Iran-Syria, Isreal-Palestine belts most dangerous places'

April 22, 2010 15:14 IST

A former US non-proliferation official has warned that South Asia and the Middle East are most likely to be the first point of a future nuclear attack.

"I think the two most dangerous areas in the world where there's the greatest potential of a transfer from a nation state to a terrorist group of a weapon of mass destruction are the India-Pakistan border and that arc that runs from Iran, through Syria, to Israel and then to Palestine," said Bob Graham, former chairman of Commission for the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation and Terrorism.

"Those, in my opinion, are the two places in the world that are the most likely to be the first point of attack. Both of those are driven by long-standing enmities that go back to just after World War II," Graham said in his appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee referring to the disputes in the region.

"These issues which we have allowed to linger now for six decades are a major threat to the security of the entire world and they need to get the strongest attention from the US and the international community for their resolution," he said.

"There has been no substantial progress on either of those fronts since 1979 -- 31 years ago -- when the Camp David Accord was entered into between Egypt and Israel. That's the last major successful effort to deal with those animosities," Graham said.

Graham said: "I inserted a statement to the effect that this potential of a nation-state developing weapon of mass destruction capability, specifically biological, and then sharing it with a linked terrorist organisation -- such as Iran and Syria have had a long-time relationship with Hezbollah; Pakistan for many years has had a close relationship with the Taliban -- that represents the ultimate threat."

Observing that this situation is accelerating, Graham argued that US intelligence agencies needed to give it an even higher priority than that which they've given it in the past.

The former US senator also argued the need to construct an effective response to a biological attack.

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