Wed, 30 Sep 2009
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei says he does not believe that Iran has a military nuclear program, adding that the lack of evidence to the contrary supports his belief.
Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei talking to the Indian TV channel CNN-IBN, September 30.
"I do not think... Iran has an on-going nuclear weapons program. Whether they have done some weaponization studies, as was claimed by the US and others, this is one of the issues that are still outstanding," ElBaradei told the Indian TV news channel CNN-IBN.The outgoing director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also touched on Iran's construction of the Fordu nuclear facility. Elbaradei said that he talked to the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, who informed him that the facility was far from complete.
"But I have not seen any credible evidence to suggest that Iran has an on-going nuclear program today. I hope that they are not having one," he added during the Wednesday interview.
"There are no centrifuges in the facility, there is no nuclear material, it is simply still just ready in term of cables and construction," the IAEA chief quoted Salehi as saying.
Elbaradei also pointed out that the IAEA should conduct an inspection of the facility "as soon as possible."
"Through that [inspection], again, [we can] provide assurance to the international community, that this facility is meant to be a facility devoted for peaceful purposes."
ElBaradei also commented on the impending talks between Iran and the P5+1 (Permanent member of the Security Council plus Germany) in Geneva, and expressed hope that the meeting would "usher in a comprehensive, meaningful dialogue."
"Recently, [Iran has] asked the Agency for assistance in getting fuel for its existing research reactor and asked the Agency to see whether we can be of help," he said, expressing optimism about a possible deal between Iran and the West.
"I was quite pleased to see that there is a very large amount of goodwill on the part of the suppliers to provide fuel for Iran for its research reactor in Teheran. The world is keen, is ready to help Iran to make full use of nuclear energy for nuclear purposes."
Earlier in the month, Iran wrote a letter to the UN nuclear watchdog, saying that it was constructing a second plant for uranium enrichment.
The Agency received Iran's letter 18 months prior to the date set for the plant to enter operational phase. That is one year before Iran was officially obliged to do so, based on the IAEA document INFCIRC/153.
for Iran's new nuclear facility
September 29 (RIA Novosti)
The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) has said the Islamic Republic will provide inspectors from the international nuclear watchdog with a timetable of visits to a new nuclear site.
Tehran revealed last week that it was building a second uranium enrichment plant. The news was met by indignation from the West which suspects Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
Ali Akbar Salehi told Press TV late on Monday that the site is being built in line with IAEA regulations, adding that Iran had taken "all the precautionary steps to safeguard its nuclear facilities."
Iran has said on a number of occasions that it only needs nuclear power to generate electricity.
Salehi said his country has no plans to develop nuclear weapons, adding that the nuclear program is peaceful and that having an atomic weapon is "against our ethics and religion."
"It is against our tenets, it is against our religion to produce, use, hold or have nuclear weapons or arsenal, how can we more clearly state our position, since 1974 we have been saying this," he was cited by Press TV as saying.
Update 7/10/09 Leaked Iran paper exposes IAEA rift