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Baradei: Iran Should Continue Nuke Suspension

Mohamed El-Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday he hopes Iran will continue its suspension of uranium enrichment and that the dialogue with Europe will continue.

"I think this is the best approach, dialogue based on verification and diplomacy. The suspension accepted voluntarily by Iran will continue because that's important to confidence building," Baradei said.

France, Germany and Britain have been involved in talks to ensure that Tehran does not develop nuclear weapons.

Mohamed El-Baradei spoke at the opening of a two-day nuclear power conference in France attended by industry ministers and government officials from more than 60 countries.

Monday's conference, billed as the first of its kind in decades, comes when high oil prices and efforts to reduce global warming have made nuclear power development more attractive.

However, El-Baradei conceded that terrorism was a real concern for the nuclear sector. Asked if terrorists could get their hands on a nuclear bomb, El-Baradei replied that "the risk is there".

Baradei said, "The risk is there. Is it likely? I hope not, I don't think the ability other than stealing a nuclear bomb you know but themselves making a nuclear weapon is rather difficult but it's not excluded."

Security measures to prevent the theft or disappearance of missile material used in nuclear power plants is among thorny topics on the agenda, along with efforts to crack down on the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

(CRI.com March 22, 2005)


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