IAEA Director On Threats and Sanctions

Mr. ElBaradei denounces the threats against Iran and North Korea
Dec 5, 2006, 13:45

During a visit to Japan, Mohamed El Baradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), went counter to the line adopted by the United States and Japan with regard to North Korea and Iran and instead recommended flexibility. “We will have to stop evoking the use of force against these two countries if we want them to agree to give up their nuclear programs”, he declared on Sunday, December 3, during a conference at the university of Kyoto.

“We should stop talking about changing the governments” of these countries or “using force” against them. “The more the Iranians and North Koreans feel threatened the more they will continue to accelerate their nuclear weapons programs (…) We must accept them back into the international community”, pleaded Mr. El Baradei, winner of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, who considers that it is through this process of reintegration that the international community can hope “to gradually change the state of mind” of their leaders.

Following the North-Korean nuclear test on October 9, the United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions against Pyongyang. Iran, who refuses to terminate its enrichment program, is also threatened by punitive measures.

“I always said, continued Mr. El Baradei, that sanctions alone will never solve any conflict.” “In many cases, on the contrary, they strengthen the determination of the country that is subjected to them”, he added.

Since these words were pronounced in Japan, which totally agrees with the U.S. harsh line of action against North Korea, Mr. El Baradei’s remarks take on a particular significance.

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