Transcripts of Interviews
Transcript of the Director General´s Press Statement
IAEA Headquarters Vienna
Delivered 13 June 2005
This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MOHAMED ELBARADEI, DIRECTOR GENERAL, IAEA: Well, let me start by saying that I´m humbled and awed by the unanimous support I received today by all members of the Agency. I´m grateful for each and every one of them in the confidence and trust they have in me. As in the past, I will continue to hold high the principals and values of international civil service which is impartiality and independence. I will continue to speak truth to power and continue to hold high the rule of law and I will do my very best to fulfil the trust that has been put in me by our member states. In the next four years we have tremendous challenge. I think this is the most challenging time, the most challenging job I have been asked to continue to serve, today. We have major issues facing global security; we have major issues facing developmental issues. These are the two issues which cut across all our activities. And my colleagues and I are committed to do our very best to protect all of us against the dissemination of nuclear weapons; against poverty and we will continue to work with the members of international community to see a world free from nuclear weapons.
I´d be happy to answer to answer any of your questions.
AFP: Dr. ElBaradei, first of all, congratulations.
ELBARADEI: Thank you very much.
AFP: If I may, there were many months of problems with the United States and you made a very dramatic trip to the United States. In what, some people think there might be some kind of deal and if there is some kind of deal, what better ways do you think that you and America find to work together on these crucial issues?
ELBARADEI: Well, I think the US made it clear that they have a policy of two terms of heads of international organizations. They have also made it clear that they are ready to listen to the views of the Board of Governors. They have said that they will join the consensus because the overwhelming majority of the Board subscribe to my continuation in the office. I am grateful for the US, as I said I´m grateful for all other member states who have supported me. I had a very constructive and positive meeting in Washington with Dr. Rice, with the National Security Advisor, with the Secretary of Energy and many other people and we looked to the future. We discussed issues that we need to address, particularly, how to shore up the non-proliferation regime in the aftermath of the NPT failure, to move forward and in preparation for our work here this week during the Board. We did not, I can tell you, we did not discuss the past. We did not discuss my election. We looked together, forward. We agreed that we have a lot of common objectives. We might, once in a while disagree on tactics but on many objectives we share the same common views that we need to stem the proliferation of nuclear weapons. We need to ensure the authority of the Agency in terms of verification. We need to have better control over the sensitive fuel cycle and we need to have a more efficient compliance mechanism. So I look forward to work with the US, as I look forward to work with every member of the Agency to achieve our common objectives. Multilateralism is primarily based on mutual accommodation and I think we have seen lately that not a single issue can we move forward, whether it´s fighting AIDS, fighting poverty, arms control, without all of us working together, without all of us understanding each other´s priorities and I hope, what they call the "Spirit of Vienna" will continue to prevail as we move forward to the future.
IRNA: Mr. ElBaradei, what are your plans for your third term as Director General?
ELBARADEI: Well, my plans are many. I would like to see the Agency being a central player in moving the development agenda for developing countries. Nuclear Energy has a lot to offer in terms of energy, in terms of health, in terms of agricultural productivity, water resource management. So I´d like to make sure that the Agency is fully fulfilling its responsibilities in the area of development. I´d like again to make sure that we fulfil the other aspect of our activities which is Security; make sure that the non-proliferation regime is strengthened, make sure that we have in place an affective verification regime, make sure that are fighting as much as we can, the possibility of nuclear terrorism, make sure that we are working together, as I said, to achieve nuclear disarmament.
REUTERS: In your discussions with Dr. Rice, did the subject of Iran come up, what did she say and what did you tell her about how the inspections, how the investigation is going and what you hope to achieve in the coming year?
ELBARADEI: Well, I think as I told you, I had a good wide ranging discussion with Dr. Rice and that´s all I would like to tell you at this stage. I obviously discussed with her and with many other people, all the issues on our agenda and they provided their point of view. I provided my point of view and that´s what I do with every Member State. I get their input; they hear my views and at the end of the day, I do what I believe to be the objective, impartial, factual way to proceed forward.
AP: Dr. ElBaradei there were some reports, some comments by diplomats close to the Agency about the lack of co-operation with the Americans as far as intelligence (unintelligible). Do you expect that to improve, were you given any promises (unintelligible)?
ELBARADEI: Well again, I don´t address intelligence issues. As I said, I had a very positive, constructive discussion with Dr. Rice, with Steven Hadley, with the National Security Advisor, with the Secretary of Energy and I can assure you that we covered all grounds during our discussion.
JAPANESE PRESS: Today the Japanese Ambassador... (unintelligible) agenda item. Do you have a comment on the Japan behaviour today?
ELBARADEI: Well, I think you can ask that question to the Ambassador to Japan. I think the question, there was no question at any time, that there was a consensus at the Board on my re-appointment. It was a question of when to declare that agreement. It took a day for the Board to decide that. I personally think it was not the most efficient way of proceeding. But at the end of the day we have come with a decision and I am grateful to the members of the Board.
IRNA: When will the Iran file be closed?
ELBARADEI: Well, I think the Iran file will be closed when we close all the issues that are still open. We are, I think, we are making progress, as I´ve been reporting to the Board. We still have some outstanding issues which I´ll report on tomorrow to the Board. I hope Iran will continue to be transparent to provide us the information we need. I look forward to closing that file as early as we can. So the ball, again, is very much in Iran´s court. The sooner they provide us the information we need, the sooner we will be able to clarify the outstanding issues.
AFP: Iran. In your third term, you have more moral weight now. It´s a two part question. There have been problems with access to certain people, like Mr. Fakrivadeh and Shahmoradi, people who are crucial to their programme. Do you think you have more weight in getting access to people, and just the second part of the question in the same vein is, do you think that you will have more of a role to play in the EU-Iran talks as someone (unintelligible)?
ELBARADEI: Well, again, without getting into details, I would hope that I will get all the cooperation I need from Iran, including information, including access to people and it is in Iran´s interest to provide the full cooperation. I look forward to the continuing cooperation on the part of Iran. I am going to report that Iran has facilitated access to nuclear materials, nuclear sites. I am going to report that Iran has respected its commitment with regard to the suspension of the fuel cycle activity. These are all positive. I am also going to report we are making progress with regards to the contamination issue and we are getting good cooperation from Pakistan in that regard. But, I´m also going to say that we still, on the issue of extent and nature of the centrifuge programme, we still need additional information from Iran. So we are inching forward but I'd like to have a more speedy cooperation on the part of Iran.