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5/13/05

Nothing to gain from taking Iran to UN, says Hans Blix

London, May 13, IRNA-Former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hans Blix, expressed doubts if anything will be achieved by taking Iran to the UN if it restarts its fuel cycle program, suggesting it could prove to be counterproductive.

"I am not sure much will be gained from taking to the Security Council, except more escalation and getting into more dangerous situation," Blix said.

"I hope there will be a continuation of negotiations" between the EU and Iran in trying to reach long-term arrangements on its nuclear program, he said, believing that it was not too late to find an amicable compromise.

Blix, who also headed the UN Arms Inspection Program in Iraq before the launch of the US-led war in 2003, criticized British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw speaking about the situation with Iran as being "five to midnight." "It sounded like autumn of 2002, giving Iraq the last opportunity," he said in an interview with BBC Radio Four's PM program.

"I think we are at a negotiating stage and hear different parties 'upping the anti' all the time," the former head of the UN nuclear watchdog said.

He also expressed doubts about the latest claim that Iran was threatening to restart its fuel cycle program, saying "as far as I understood Iranians beginning to make hydrofluoride, which is not enriched uranium." Blix was also uncertain whether it was Iran's intentions to develop an nuclear bomb as alleged by the US. They "certainly want to retain enriching uranium (and) the rest of world is rightly worried," he said.

The former IAEA director general also told the BBC that it was "right" Iran wanted its own enriched uranium to be independent, but added that they "will be able to get an assurance of supply both from the Russians and the Europeans and perhaps from the Chinese." "But they may not have been able to get that assurance if they had not threatened to enrich themselves. I think there is a lot of bargaining going on" even at this late hour, he said.

"What the Iranians, I think, might need to have will be an assurance that they will not be attacked if they abstain from this," Blix further said.

He said they have "a right" to enrich. "It is in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Japanese are parties of that treaty, the Brazilians are parties of that treaty, they do it, (and) no one objects to that," he said.

"Hypocrisy is not the word I would use, because it is true the Japanese do it, but it is not that sensitive. If you do enrichment in that area, the Middle East, it will increase the tension, I think the Iranian should abstain from it," Blix said.

... Payvand News - 5/13/05 ... --



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