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Interview with Mohammed ElBaradei

Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, spoke to Russia Today on the new round of talks on Iran's nuclear programme.

Russia Today: What role do you think Russia should be playing in further negotiations with Iran and North Korea?

Mohammed ElBaradei: I think you still can play a very active role in trying to see the successful resolution to these two issues – in the case of Iran – to make sure that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes, and in the case of North Korea – to have a comprehensive solution, and North Korea to roll back its nuclear weapons programme.

RT: Do you think Russia’s suggestion to enrich uranium on its own territory is still relevant?

M.E.:I think it is still on the agenda. Nobody questioned Iran’s right to have the full use of nuclear energy, including enrichment, some time in the future. But because of the background of the history of the Iranian programme, I think a good solution would be to have the enrichment needs filled in the next few years through an international consortium with Iran’s participation on Russian territory. I hope as and when negotiations resume between Iran and the six parties, that this proposal will be seriously discussed.

RT: The U.S. insist on keeping the military option on the table. Do you think the military option is a solution?

M.E.: I have always believed that the only solution possible is the one achieved through a dialogue with all the relevant parties, primarily also between Iran and the U.S. The military solution in fact might prompt Iran – even if they are not going for a nuclear weapon – to accelerate the programme to go for a nuclear weapon. We have seen in the case of Iraq, which is a recent example, that the use of military force in fact exacerbates the problem.

RT: Iran expects the IAEA to highlight its co-operation in the next report in an attempt to ward off further UN sanctions. Would you support further UN sanctions?

M.E.: If the co-operation is positive, we would report that. If the co-operation is not forthcoming, we would report that. The international community needs to make sure that we are able to fully understand the past history of the Iranian programme and be able to make sure that all nuclear activities in Iran are under agencies of guard and exclusively for peaceful purpose.