With American and European rhetoric over the Iranian nuclear issue heating up following Tehran’s recent disclosure of its plan to construct a second enrichment facility, International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei will fly from here to Iran in a bid to defuse the issue.
“I am going to Iran on Saturday,” Dr. ElBaradei told The Hindu in an interview here on Thursday. “I will try to see if we can get them to be more transparent and cooperate better with us.” The IAEA chief said he would seek an early visit to the new facility — which Iran informed the agency about on September 21 — “so that we can understand when it started and what its purpose is.”
Criticising the Iranian authorities for not informing the Agency as soon as plans for the new facility were drawn up, the IAEA’s Director-General said the country had undermined the confidence of the international community. But, in a veiled criticism of Israeli and American military threats against Iran over the past few years, Dr. ElBaradei said the “language of force” was counterproductive as it had only encouraged Iran to take counter-measures.
Iran has cited these threats as the reason for constructing the facility in secret.
While urging Tehran to be more transparent and forthcoming in its dealings with the IAEA, the Director-General said that the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear programme was not imminent and there was no reason for alarm or hype.