UN News Center, 1 February 2005 - The United Nations atomic watchdog agency says it is "vital" for the United States to join European efforts seeking a diplomatic solution to problems arising out of Iran's nuclear programme and is underscoring the urgency of pre-empting nuclear proliferation and potential acts of terrorism.
Giving prominence to a series of media interviews by its Director General last week at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) highlighted efforts to achieve nuclear verification in Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
On Iran Mohamed ElBaradei said progress was being made by IAEA nuclear safeguards inspectors. In November the Agency called on Iran to grant access to provide "credible assurances" that it has not engaged in any undeclared activities after it had for many years concealed its nuclear activities in breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
"Over the last 15 months, we have made good strides in understanding the nature and scope of its programme," Mr. ElBaradei said in one interview quoted on the agency's web site. He urged States to back the Agency's verification work, while also emphasizing the importance of supporting diplomatic routes and approaches such as the talks between Iran and the European Union.
It is "vital" for the United States to join the dialogue, he added.
"Nuclear weapons are a recipe for disaster," he said in an interview with the Washington Post. "We need a security system that does not rely on them."
While in Davos, he took part in a panel on non-proliferation that included experts and senior officials from the United States, Iran and Republic of Korea. He emphasized the need to strengthen the world's nuclear regime, and steps that he has proposed for doing so, including a stronger collective security framework that he will propose to the NPT Review Conference convening in May at UN headquarters in New York.
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