New Iran nuclear stand-off is 'hiccup': ElBaradei

5th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 October 2005, MOSCOW - New frictions over Iran's nuclear programme are a "hiccup" and progress of recent months will be resumed if Tehran now undertakes confidence-building measures, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Chairman Mohamed ElBaradei said in Moscow Wednesday.

5 October 2005

MOSCOW - New frictions over Iran's nuclear programme are a "hiccup" and progress of recent months will be resumed if Tehran now undertakes confidence-building measures, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Chairman Mohamed ElBaradei said in Moscow Wednesday.

"I am optimistic that within one month we will see a resumption of negotiations," ElBaradei said.

As well as conciliatory moves by Tehran after threats to drop its international nuclear commitments, "a third party must provide a face-saving proposal to bring the sides back to the table," he added, implying that Russia, which engages in nuclear cooperation with Iran, could take the lead.

"This is a question of security, and economic relations, and sanctions, and human rights," stressed the IAEA head.

Iranian officials threatened to pull out of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty after the IAEA in September supported an E.U. resolution to bring Iranian non-compliance with the treaty before the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.

On Monday, Stephen Rademaker, U.S. assistant secretary of state on international security and non-proliferation, called upon governments to freeze all nuclear cooperation with Iran.

"The IAEA has been making good progress in understanding the clandestine nuclear programme that Iran ran in the past," said ElBaradei.

But the "jury was still out" on the exact nature of that programme today.

Meanwhile, Moscow opposes taking the matter to the U.N.

"Russia does not regard it as constructive to refer the Iranian case to the U.N. Security Council," said Nuclear Power Minister Alexander Rumyantsev, calling for a resumption of the dialogue between Iran and the 'Eurotroika' of Britain, France and Germany.

Russia has come under criticism from the international community for its construction of an 800-million-dollar nuclear power plant at the southern Iranian Gulf port of Bushehr.

The United States in particular fears the technology may be used in a secret weapons programme.

DPA

Subject: German news

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