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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

25 May 2006

United States, IAEA Urge Iran To Resolve Nuclear Standoff

Iran's program must come into compliance with international community's requests

By David McKeeby
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- Iran’s leaders must engage diplomatically to prove to the international community that its civil energy program is not a covert effort to develop nuclear weapons, say Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei.

“We've talked about Iran and how to bring into being compliance with the Board of Governors resolution that was passed and also the presidential statement that was passed in the Security Council that asks Iran to rapidly comply with the international community's demands,” Rice told reporters following a May 24 meeting with ElBaradei at the State Department.  (See related article.) 

ElBaradei said that he briefed Rice on a recent meeting with Ali Larijani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator.  “I'm an honest broker,” said ElBaradei, describing the United Nations’ role in the negotiating progress, “I listen to all the parties.  I bring their different perspectives to each other.   

“I believe that it's very important for Iran to take whatever measures are required for the international community to have confidence that its program is peaceful in nature,” he added.

Rice and ElBaradei also reported progress at the May 24 meeting in London of representatives from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the United Kingdom, the United States, China, France and Russia) and Germany to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue.  (See related article.)

“I believe that they are now prepared to talk about the progress that they've made and perhaps to return these ideas to capitals for further consideration,” Rice said. 

The Rice-ElBaradei discussions also covered ways to draw India constructively into ongoing international nonproliferation efforts.  Rice said the existing concept of the nonproliferation regime has to be broadened now “in order to deal with anomalies like the Indian situation.”    

The transcript of Rice’s and ElBaredei’s remarks are available on the State Department Web site.

For more information, see Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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