Military action on Iran would be 'catastrophic': El Baradei
AFP | January 25, 2007
UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed El Baradei on Thursday urged an end to talk of a military solution to the Iran nuclear crisis, saying any strike against Tehran would be "catastrophic".
"I hope we will stop talking about military action," El Baradei said during a discussion on nuclear proliferation at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
"Military action against Iran would be counter productive and catastrophic," he said, stressing that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was unaware of any facility in Iran capable of producing nuclear weapons.
"Do they have the knowledge? Sure, they have the knowledge. Are you going to bomb the knowledge?" he said.
The UN Security Council passed a resolution last month imposing sanctions on Iran for its repeated refusal to cooperate fully with the Vienna-based IAEA or to suspend uranium enrichment.
Iran insists that its nuclear programme is solely aimed at meeting peaceful energy needs, but the West fears it could be diverted towards building an atomic bomb.
In Vienna on Thursday, IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said the agency had asked Iran to "to reconsider their decision" to ban 38 IAEA inspectors from working in the country.
IAEA inspectors regularly visit Iranian nuclear sites under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a signatory.
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