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31 Oct, 2006 08:55

Talks overdue, says nuclear chief

Talks overdue, says nuclear chief

UN nuclear chief Mohamed El Baradei called for a broad new plan governing the use of nuclear energy following North Korea's recent test.  He urged all parties involved in both the Iran nuclear dispute and the North Korean stand-off to resume “l

Representatives from the two countries reacted strongly. Iran claimed the International Atomic Energy Agency had turned a “blind eye” to nuclear weapons stockpiling by Israel. North Korea blamed its nuclear weapons programme on a supposed threat from the United States. El Baradei voiced international concern over Tehran's nuclear programme – which, he said, could not be confirmed as peaceful. He hoped Iran and key nations could ultimately engage in negotiations. Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed his preference for talks rather than sanctions in a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart.