US Secretary of State and IAEA Head Talk Non-Proliferation
IAEa Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice in Washington, 24 May 2006. (Photo: US Department of State)
Non-proliferation was the focus of talks between IAEA Head Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice in Washington yesterday. At the heart of discussions: Iran, the recent US-India deal and new approaches to contain sensitive nuclear technology.
The Director General met with Dr. Rice as part of a two-week visit to the US.
On Iran: Discussions focused "on ways and means" for Iran to heed the call of the international community that it "build confidence" in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, Dr. ElBaradei said.
"I believe that it´s very important for Iran to take whatever measures required for the international community to have confidence that its program is peaceful in nature. I believe also it´s very important that Iran goes back to the negotiating table with the Europeans," Dr. ElBaradei said.
"My preferred solution, obviously, to the Iranian issue, is a negotiated solution," the IAEA chief said.
On the India-US Agreement on nuclear cooperation, Dr. ElBaradei said that for him, "this is a win-win agreement and I hope it will be also for Congress." Speaking with Dr. Rice, the IAEA chief said he hoped the deal could "make sure that India becomes a partner in the non-proliferation framework."
On New Approaches to Sensitive Nuclear Technology: Dr. Rice thanked Dr. ElBaradei for work on "some innovative non-proliferation ideas like fuel assurances that would allow the proliferation risks associated with civil nuclear programs to be minimized."
Dr. ElBaradei said the Agency was "trying to look at the big picture in making sure that we have innovative measures to ensure that sensitive proliferation technology, like enrichment or reprocessing is contained".
Five approaches to strengthen controls over sensitive nuclear materials and technologies of proliferation concern were outlined in a report circulated at the May 2005 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. See Story Resources for more.