IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei met 15 March with US Senator Richard Lugar, among other senior officials, in Washington, DC. Senator Lugar is Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a co-sponsor of the Nunn-Lugar Threat Reduction Initiative launched in 1991 to strengthen controls over nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Dr. ElBaradei is in Washington for working meetings with senior US government officials, including a scheduled meeting with President Bush. The purpose of the trip is to discuss current efforts to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime. An important aim, he said in press interviews this week, is to "move the agenda of the non-proliferation regime forward."
Regarding IAEA safeguards in Iran, Dr. ElBaradei announced from Washington 15 March that he was informed by the Iranian authorities on a new date for the next round of IAEA inspections, namely 27 March 2004. "It is clearly in the interest of Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA and adopt a policy of proactive cooperation so that the IAEA can clarify outstanding issues as early as possible," he said.