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IAEA chief warns against military action to solve Iranian nuclear issue
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Visiting UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Monday warned against a military action to solve the Iranian nuclear issue, the Egyptian official MENA news agency reported.


In an interview with Egyptian TV, ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said a military strike to settle the Iranian nuclear issue would complicate the situation and send the Middle East region into a vicious cycle of violence.


ElBaradei warned that Iran could be pushed to strive for nuclear weapons if it is hit while seeking no such weapons.


Citing progress in negotiations on the Iranian nuclear file, ElBaradei voiced his hope that the issue would be solved this year.


Some countries, including the United States, has accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, which has been repeatedly denied by Tehran.


ElBaradei, who is expected to issue a report around February 20 on his visit to Iran and IAEA's inquiry into Iran's nuclear activity, said on Sunday that the UN nuclear watchdog was making "good progress" in finishing outstanding issues on Iran's nuclear file.


Meanwhile, world major countries are mulling a third sanction resolution against Iran after the UN Security Council adopted two resolutions – one in December 2006 and the other in March 2007 – to force Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities and give up nuclear programs.


Iran has downplayed the effect of possible new sanctions, saying Tehran would show "serious and logical reaction" if the Security Council issued a third resolution.


(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2008)  

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