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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Nuclear terrorism, still urgent risk: ElBaradei

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, March 17, IRNA
Head of the UN atomic watchdog agency said on Wednesday that while much progress has been made through international cooperation over the past three years to combat the risks of nuclear terrorism, vulnerabilities still exist and the issue has lost neither its relevance nor urgency.

"For those of us in the nuclear field, it has become obvious that our work to strengthen nuclear security is both vital and urgent and that we must not wait for a 'watershed' nuclear security even to provide the needed security upgrades," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told the opening session of a three-day conference in London.

A press release issued by the UN Information Center here on Thursday further quoted ElBaradei as stressing the need for cooperation, assistance, regional and international networks, and the importance of learning from each other.

Noting that the terrorist attack against the US in September 2001 had propelled the rapid and dramatic re-evaluation of the risks of terrorism in all its forms, he categorized four potential nuclear risks including theft of a nuclear weapon, acquisition of nuclear materials to build a device, malicious use of radioactive sources such as a 'dirty bomb', and radiological hazards from attacking or sabotaging a facility or transport vehicle.

"These risks are real and current, but they are not all the same," he told the IAEA's International Conference on Nuclear Security:
Global Directions for the Future, underscoring the importance of international cooperation.

::IRNA No.018 18/03/2005 12:13 --End

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