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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Go-ahead approved to replace UK's nuclear missile system

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, May 18, IRNA -- Defence Secretary Liam Fox Wednesday announced the go-ahead for initial work to begin on the controversial replacement of Britain's Trident nuclear missile system.

The approval was the 'initial gate,' the first stage of research and design for replacing existing submarines, costing £3 billion up until 2016, some 15 per cent of the official total estimate.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Prime Minister David Cameron said he backed renewal of Trident, originally approved by the former Labour Government, as it was the 'ultimate insurance policy against blackmail or attacks by other countries'.

The government's policy on the replacement of the country's nuclear deterrent was 'absolutely clear', Cameron insisted, despite differences with the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives' coalition partners, who seek a cheaper alternative and want a final decision delayed until after the next election.

As a concession, Fox said that although he was giving a 'green light' for the go-ahead, he was commissioning a study into other ways that Britain could be protected without replacing Trident.

Among opponents, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn said that there were 184 countries in the world that survived without having nuclear weapons and warned about the escalating costs, which some estimate could be up to £100 bn in total.

Other opposition has also been expressed by the Green Party and Scottish Nationalist Party as well as trade unions, churches and religious groups and peace campaigners.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30392433

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