Saturday, October 02, 2004

I have seen no nuclear weapons program in Iran: ElBaradei

Description of Selected News: "

I have seen no nuclear weapons program in Iran: ElBaradei

TEHRAN (MNA) -- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has said that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and that the issue of Iran’s nuclear dossier should be resolved diplomatically in order to avoid the bitter experience of Iraq, the Arabic language daily Asharq al-Awsat reported on Saturday.

“Iran has no nuclear weapons program, but I personally don’t rush to conclusions before all the realities are clarified. So far I see nothing which could be called an imminent danger. I have seen no nuclear weapons program in Iran. What I have seen is that Iran is trying to gain access to nuclear enrichment technology, and so far there is no danger from Iran. Therefore, we should make use of political and diplomatic means before thinking of resorting to other alternatives,” ElBaradei said. Asked about the IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program to be issued in November, he told the daily, “We have actually started compiling the report and it will be ready at the specified time before the Board of Governors meeting. So far, nothing new has surfaced, and we still call on Iran to help resolve the outstanding issues. In order to resolve the problem we have asked them to suspend the enrichment of uranium as a confidence-building measure, and we are still negotiating.”

ElBaradei asserted that it is too soon to talk about referring Iran’s nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council.

Referring Iran’s nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council for violating the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would be the worst-case scenario, he added.

“We hope we will not have to adopt obligatory measures (about Iran) and also prefer not to make judgments about Iran withdrawing from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” he told the paper.

“Our findings in Iraq proved that the agency was right because we didn’t find anything which indicated the presence of nuclear weapons in Iraq. “If we want to take a lesson from Iraq, we should not rush before all realities are clarified, and this is what we want to do about Iran.”

ElBaradei also said he would like to keep his job until he sees Iran’s nuclear dossier removed from the agenda of the IAEA Board.

In a serious violation of the NPT, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution on September 18 asking Iran to suspend all enrichment-related activities. The board will meet again on November 25."


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