In recent media interviews, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei underlined the urgency of stepping up efforts against nuclear proliferation and potential acts of terrorism. Speaking to reporters at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Dr. ElBaradei also addressed questions on the major issues before the IAEA, including nuclear verification in Iran and North Korea.
On Iran, he said that progress is being made by Agency nuclear safeguards inspectors. "Over the last 15 months, we have made good strides in understanding the nature and scope of its programme," he said. He urged States to back the IAEA´s verification work, while also emphasizing the importance of supporting diplomatic routes and approaches such as the talks between Iran and the European Union. He said it was "vital" for the United States to join the dialogue.
The Director General participated in WEF sessions in Davos, where global leaders met last week to set priorities for fighting poverty, supporting sustainable development, and bolstering security. He took part in an expert panel on non-proliferation that included experts and senior officials from the United States, Iran, and Republic of Korea. He emphasized the need to strengthen the world´s nuclear regime, and steps that he has proposed for doing so. He is urging States to act on measures toward a stronger collective security framework at the upcoming Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, which convenes in May 2005 at UN headquarters in New York.
In an exclusive interview with the Washington Post, Dr. ElBaradei additionally responded to questions on his decision to seek another term as head of the Agency, and his thinking on pressing issues challenging the nuclear regime. "Nuclear weapons are a recipe for disaster," he said. "We need a security system that does not rely on them."