Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Archive for the ‘Mohamed ElBaradei’ Category

Rice Criticizes IAEA Iranian Plan: “The IAEA is not in the business of diplomacy.”

Posted by K.E. White on September 19, 2007

Guess not everyone guess with the NYTimes that the ElBaradei is an “indispensable” figure. Today Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took aim at the IAEA–and indirectly its chief Mohamed ElBaradei. From Reuters:

“The diplomatic track can work but it has to work both with a set of incentives and a set of teeth,” she said.

The United States has criticized a deal International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei has made with Iran to answer long-standing questions about its nuclear activities.

Washington and its European allies argue the IAEA moves divert attention from U.N. Security Council demands that Iran suspend uranium enrichment and grant broader inspections.

Rice, who in June accused ElBaradei of “muddying the message” to Iran, voiced strong irritation with the IAEA chief, without naming him.

“The IAEA is not in the business of diplomacy. The IAEA is a technical agency that has a board of governors of which the United States is a member,” Rice told reporters traveling with her to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

“It is not up to anybody to diminish or to begin to cut back on the obligations that the Iranians have been ordered to take.”

Now this brings up an interesting question. What is the role of the IAEA? Rice argues the the IAEA should not be crafting independent deals with countries it wishes to inspect. Rather, according to Rice, the IAEA should step back: leaving the decision of whether inspections occur to international diplomacy, with the IAEA then merely implementing the inspections will occur.

This does run into a problem, though. What happens when a nation of focus—Iran—is not having formal talks with the United States? Suddenly intermediaries like the European Union or the IAEA become necessary.

And at a time when American credibility is at an all time low, it’s hardly surprising to see the IAEA’s stock go up—especially with ElBaradei’s notorious and exceptionally long stint as IAEA director general.

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Posted in Condoleezza Rice, IAEA, Iran, Mohamed ElBaradei, United States | 3 Comments »

News Roundup from Der Spiegel: Iranian Facilities Constructed with German Parts? And ElBaradei Describes the “Horror Scenario”

Posted by K.E. White on September 4, 2007

“I am not a purist or a dreamer.”

Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA head

Germany’s Der Spiegel leads with two proliferation-related pieces today. The first piece delves into how German hardware made it into an Iranian nuclear plant, somehow evading German export controls.

But top billing goes to an interview with IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei. Below are two nuggets of note: 1) ElBaradei’s dirty bomb “horror scenario” and 2) his continuing support for the US-India nuclear deal.

The US-India nuclear deal, as often discussed on this blog, has raised concerns of a nuclear exception for India—a non-party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty—and may encourage more countries to seek their own nuclear enrichment capabilities. Not to mention the possible side-effect of egging on China to revitalize their own nuclear arsenal if the face of growing cooperation between regional rival India the United States.

From the Der Spiegel interview with ElBaradei:

ElBaradei: That’s my greatest concern, a horror scenario. I’m not thinking about a nuclear weapon. No terrorist organization has the necessary know-how or potential to acquire these weapons. But a small, so-called dirty bomb containing radioactive material, detonated somewhere in a major city, could cost human lives and set off massive terror with serious economic consequences. Sometimes I think it’s a miracle that it hasn’t happened yet. I pray that it remains that way.

SPIEGEL: India never joined the NPT, and it tested a nuclear weapon in 1998. The IAEA is not even allowed to inspect India’s civilian plants, not to mention its military ones. And yet the United States now wants to supply Delhi with new nuclear technology and fuel. Why didn’t you object to this deal?

ElBaradei: I was even in favor of it. I am not a purist or a dreamer. India became a nuclear power, and it was ostracized internationally for a time as a result. This no longer makes any sense. We would consider it progress if we could monitor India’s civilian nuclear power plants in the future, and we will likely begin negotiations on this issue with Delhi soon, provided the deal isn’t cancelled as a result of domestic political disagreements first.

Posted in Der Spiegel, dirty bomb, Germany, IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, Nuclear, nuclear export, U.S. India Nuclear Deal | Leave a Comment »