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WMD Threats "Everybody's Fight", Director General ElBaradei Says

Mohamed ElBaradei and Spencer Abraham. (Credit: D. Calma/IAEA)

Concluding a series of high-level meetings this week in Washington, DC, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei met with US Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and other officials 18 March. In a television interview, Dr. ElBaradei touched on key issues discussed during the week with US President Bush and senior officials.

"We are facing now the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction which is everybody's fight," he said in an interview on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television 18 March.

Excerpts from the interview follow:

Nuclear Proliferation & WMD Threats

"I think the message I'm getting from Washington this week (is) that we really need to put our heads together, not just the US and IAEA, but everybody in the international system. I mean, we are facing now the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction which is everybody's fight. It's exactly like terrorism. There is no winner, there's no loser. It's either all we will win or everybody would lose."

"The nonproliferation regime right now is absolutely under growing stress. What we have seen with A.Q. Khan associates, the black market, what we have seen with some of the al Qaida people interested in nuclear weapons, makes it clear that this is a different ball game and we have to revise the rules, and that really was the focus of my discussion with President Bush yesterday.

We need to look at the big picture, there's a lot of measures we need to take, control of the nuclear material, better export control, better authority for the agency, less countries having enrichment and reprocessing."

IAEA Verification of Iran's Nuclear Programme

"What I do is check the facts, verify the uranium programme, and so far I haven't seen any concrete proof that what Iran is doing is directly linked to the weapon programme, and that's why I am saying we are not in a position to say Iran is developing a weapon programme. But at the same time I'm not yet in a position to say everything in Iran is exclusively for peaceful purpose. The jury is still out, it's a work in progress and I'd like to finish the work as early as I can."

Last update: 27 July 2017