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ElBaradei speaks against more sanctions and pressure on Iran
CASMII Press Release
7 June 2007
ElBaradei speaks against more sanctions and pressure on Iran:
NPT tattering because Big Boys continue to rely on nuclear weapons
In a revealing, but largely unreported interview with the BBC, Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, has reaffirmed Iran's right to enrichment, accused the nuclear powers of dangerous double standards on non-proliferation and made it clear that Iran presents no danger to the West.
Speaking on the BBC programme, Inside the IAEA: A year with the nuclear detectives broadcast today, Dr. ElBaradei gives a candid assessment of the current standoff between the UN Security Council and Iran. He stresses the fact that "having an enrichment capability and developing a weapon are two different things." He also makes it clear that Iran has a fundamental right to uranium enrichment and acknowledges Iran's belief that "the Security Council is exceeding its authority" in imposing sanctions. On the question of the threat posed by Iran, Dr ElBaradei says:
"One thing is clear. They are not today a clear and present danger and that is not only my view. That is the view of MI6. That is the view of the CIA."
He refers to those calling for military intervention against Iran as the "new crazies" and says that the use of force would be "catastrophic".
"We need to understand where the Iranians are coming from, the Iranians need to understand the concerns of the international community, and we need to reconcile the differences. The key issue right now, which is really blocking the negotiation, is this issue of suspension [of enrichment]."
He argues that the Iranians have a genuine desire to see "trade normalisation" and "diplomatic relations re-established" and says of the current crisis "you are not going to resolve it simply by adopting more sanctions or more pressure." Instead, he says:
"we need to invest our time in developing a comprehensive, peaceful resolution of the issue, that understands, puts the nuclear issue in a proper context that is part and parcel of the global or regional insecurity in the Middle East."
Dr ElBaradei also criticizes the nuclear weapons states and asserts that the Non Proliferation Treaty is "tattering in many ways" because other countries see "the Big Boys continue to rely on nuclear weapons". He further accuses the five major nuclear powers of not living up to their disarmament commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty while expecting the non-nuclear weapon states to agree to additional intrusive inspections:
"As long as you are telling them: Do as I say and not as I do, you continue to have cynicism and you continue to have a feeling among the many of the non-nuclear weapon states 'why should we accept to tie our hands even further and why can't we keep the option of developing these weapons in case our security is threatened?' We still live in a world that says the security of some people is more important than others. We have to live under a nuclear umbrella while the rest can enjoy the elements, which is not sustainable."
The interview between Dr ElBaradei and Rob Broomby was transcribed by CASMII. A full transcript can be found on the website at http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/?q=node/2300