IAEA Director General, US President Conclude High-Level Talks
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei speaks to the press outside the West Wing of the White House, 17 March 2004 following a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush. He was accompanied by IAEA Deputy Director General David Waller (left). (Credit: REUTERS / Jason Reed)
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and US President George Bush met 17 March on issues on nuclear non-proliferation. Dr. ElBaradei also briefed a US Congressional Committee and held discussions with other high-level US officials during his visit to Washingtion, DC this week.
The Wall Street Journal and other news media reported that President Bush and Mr. ElBaradei covered a range of issues during their talks. They included IAEA verification of Iran's nuclear programme and ideas on how to control nuclear proliferation, including tightening export controls and the need to secure weapons-usable material in research reactors scattered around the globe. Also discussed was the need to restrict the number of countries that can enrich uranium and reprocess plutonium that can be used for nuclear fuel or bombs.
On the status of Iran's nuclear programme, Dr. ElBaradei emphasized the need for transparency and proactive cooperation to resolve outstanding issues and questions. "My answer is that the jury is still out," he said in briefing reporters. "We would like to continue to work hard on inspecting Iran before we come to a conclusion. We expect full cooperation, full transparency by Iran, if Iran wants to prove that its programme is for peaceful purposes."