A Nuclear Planet

A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is warning that “Iran appears to be on a structured path to building a nuclear weapon”. Are they…are they not? The possession of nuclear weapons is a well kept secret, also for those countries that are known to be part of the club of world nuclear forces. The Federation of American Scientists states that “the exact number of nuclear weapons in each country’s possession is a closely held national secret. Despite this limitation, however, publicly available information and occasional leaks make it possible to make best estimates about the size and composition of the national nuclear weapon stockpiles”. Using their data suggests, that there may be a total inventory of about 20,500 nuclear weapons that separates us from the vision of a nuclear-free world outlined by US President Obama in 2009 (meanwhile, priorities appear to have changed, with expert outlines for steps toward a nuclear-free world having been moved to an archive of the US foreign policy website). The reality looks very different, and Iran would only be one more member in a bipolar world that still very much reflects the nuclear arms race of the cold war. The following map is an update to the Worldmapper Nuclear Weapons cartogram using the 2011 estimates for the possession of nuclear weapons by the FAS:

Map / Cartogram of the World Nuclear Forces(click for larger map)

Not much has changed in the last decade, and more efforts that visionary statements will be needed to achieve a nuclear weapon free world. The recent news are certainly not part of that plan…
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