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Military Action Against Iran 'Counter-productive': ElBaradei
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Military action is no solution to Iran's nuclear issue, Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.


Use of force "could be absolutely counter-productive. It could be catastrophe for varied reasons," ElBaradei told a high-level panel in discussion of "Stopping the Spread of Nuclear Weapons."


The UN nuclear watchdog chief said it is not practical to solve the Iranian nuclear crisis in a military way, since bombs can destroy facilities, but can not eliminate the knowledge.


"Should they have the knowledge, are you going to bomb the knowledge?" ElBaradei said, adding that it was still not known whether Iran has undeclared nuclear facilities.


ElBaradei also warned that military action would only "strengthen the hand of those who say 'let us develop a weapon'."


A Kuwaiti newspaper recently reported that the US government had decided to launch attack against Iran from the sea before this April, a claim repeatedly denied by the White House.


"I hope we continue to stop seeking a military option and try to focus on finding a political solution," ElBaradei said, without naming any specific country.


Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz joined in calling for force not to be used.


"The use of force will complicate an already dangerous situation, " Aziz said. "It is no answer. We must engage, engage and engage."


Aziz, whose country shares a long border with Iran, warned that military action will have all the risks of destabilization, whose implication is not only regional, but also global.


"If there is military action, it will have catastrophic results, not just in the region, but in the whole world," he said, adding even sanctions cannot work.


The UN Security Council last December imposed sanctions on Iran, calling for the country to suspend the enrichment activities, which was defiantly rejected by Teheran.


However, Iran said on Tuesday it was still cooperating with the ElBaradei's agency, a day after announcing it was barring IAEA inspectors from working in the country.


On Thursday, former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami also called in Davos for calm when tensions were rising between the United States and his country.


"I hope that they would be good enough in managing the situation. We deeply need patience and understanding and not to get too emotional," Khatami said.


(Xinhua News Agency January 26, 2007)


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