In 1953, President Eisenhower wanted to encourage the development of nuclear energy and to also convince the European (members of NATO) - North Atlantic Treaty Organization) that they should switch from expensive and manpower intensive conventional weapons to instead rely on cheaper nuclear weapons for defense. Eisenhower slashed the US defense budget while increasing the American nuclear stockpile from 1,005 to more than 20,000 during his eight years in office while stating that in the event of war, the US would use nuclear weapons as readily as conventional ones. He thought that it would be a counter to Soviet propaganda if the US shared nuclear technology with others. Towards that end, EIsenhower thought that Free World nations should be given training, equipment and uranium to create small research nuclear reactors. American companies built or assisted in the building of nuclear facilities in Argentina, Brazil, Taiwan, Israel, South Africa, India and Pakistan. This program eventually fueled the global spread of nuclear arms.
The announcements by Iran of its intent to develop its nuclear capabilities has resulted in cries of panic among certain goverments in the Middle East as well as