Inspections Focus of Director General's Talks in London
Nuclear inspections were the focus of recent talks between UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, who met in London 22 October 2002.
Dr. ElBaradei underscored the key role of inspections in Iraq and reaffirmed the IAEA's readiness to resume them. "Inspections will be the key, over the long haul, to ensuring that clandestine efforts to develop nuclear weapons in Iraq or elsewhere are detected and thwarted. The success of inspections in Iraq will depend on five interrelated prerequisites: full and explicit authority for inspection; ready access to all sources of information; unified and robust support from the UN Security Council; preservation of integrity and objectivity in the inspection process; and active cooperation by Iraq, including allowing full access to inspectors to carry out their mission."
Following the meeting, Secretary Straw commented: "I thanked Dr ElBaradei for the work of the IAEA on behalf of the UN. We discussed the task facing Dr. ElBaradei and his team of inspectors once they return to Iraq. The UN has made clear its determination to compel Saddam Hussein to stop flouting the will of the international community, and to comply fully with the obligations placed on Iraq by the UN. Weapons inspectors, including from the IAEA, must be allowed unfettered access under the terms set by the UN in the resolution currently under discussion.
"We discussed also progress towards agreement at the UN of that draft Resolution, which will make unmistakably clear the terms under which Dr Elbaradei and Dr. Hans Blix will work in Iraq. I underlined how far the Council has come in recent weeks. There is a clear determination to ensure that Iraq fulfils its obligations. But this will not happen without the credible threat of the use of force".
During his October visit to London, Dr. ElBaradei conducted a range of television, radio, and newspaper interviews on the issues of Iraq, North Korea, and Agency inspection responsibilities to help prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. They included:
Also this week, the Washington Post published Dr. ElBaradei's essay, Inspections Are the Key, in which he focuses on the Iraq case.