ElBaradei hits back at critics | News | Al Jazeera

ElBaradei hits back at critics

Head of UN's nuclear watchdog says the nuclear threat posed by Iran has been "hyped".

    The outgoing IAEA chief has been accused of
    covering up Iran's nuclear ambitions [EPA] 

    "But the idea that we'll wake up tomorrow and Iran will have a nuclear weapon is an idea that isn't supported by the facts as we have seen them so far."

    Nuclear ambitions 

    ElBaradei's comments come as Iran annocuned that it was ready for fresh talks with world powers over its nuclear programme, which the West says is a cover for building nuclear weapons.

    "About Iran, I've been told, 'Mind your own business; you're a technician' ... I'm neither a custodian nor a technician. I'm merely someone who is trying to do his job"

    Mohamed ElBaradei,
    IAEA Director-General

    Tehran denies this and insists its nuclear programme is for purely civilian purposes.

    In a report last week, the IAEA said that Iran had slowed production of enriched uranium, which can be used to make a nuclear bomb, and agreed to tighter monitoring of its enrichment plant.

    The US downplayed the report, saying that Iran was still not co-operating fully with the UN inspectors.

    Israel's Haaretz newspaper said the report did not include a classified annex that incriminated Iran.

    Israel has long been critical of ElBaradei, calling for him to be fired in 2007.

    Criticism rejected

    ElBaradei, who - along with the IAEA as an institution - won the Nobel peace prize in 2005, rejected the criticism.

    "About Iran, I've been told, 'Mind your own business; you're a technician.'

    "And yet, at other times, on other matters, I have been told that I'm the custodian of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - sometimes by the very people who tell me to mind my own business when it comes to Iran," he said.

    "I don't put much stock in either designation. I'm neither a custodian nor a technician. I'm merely someone who is trying to do his job."

    ElBaradei steps down at the end of November, handing over to Yukiya Amano, a veteran Japanese diplomat.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.