Crucial months for Iran, IAEA budget too low

15 June 2007

"Diplomacy and negotiation" can provide the only durable solution regarding Iran's nuclear programme, according to Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He said he was "increasingly disturbed" by Iran's growth in enrichment knowledge and capacity.


ElBaradei told the IAEA Board of Governors on 14 June that Iran is speeding up its enrichment program, but the IAEA's ability to clarify the nature of the Iranian program was decreasing. ElBaradei said that Iran had continued to provide the IAEA with access to the nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz, but that the Agency was unable to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear activities in the country.

ElBaradei saw the next few months as crucial. "The earlier we move, now, the more we have a chance to find a negotiated solution. The longer we delay, the less options we have to find a negotiated, peaceful resolution," ElBaradei said.


ElBaradei has called on Iran to adopt a self-imposed moratorium on its enrichment program as a good confidence-building measure. He said there was no urgent need for Iran to build up its enrichment capacity, as fuel for the Bushehr reactor would be provided by Russia.

A moratorium would see Iran take a 'time-out' from enrichment, and in turn the Security Council would take a 'time-out' from sanctions against Iran.


ElBaradei also repeated warnings he ha smade concerning the tightening finances at the IAEA. The Board had not adopted the IAEA's 2008/9 budget, which proposes a 2% budgetary increase. ElBaradei believes there has been a "gradual erosion" of the IAEA's ability to perform critical functions.

He said on 11 June: "Even with the proposed budget, the Agency's financial situation remains vulnerable, and we still fall short of what is needed to carry out our mission in an effective manner. Significant additional resources are still sorely needed."

Further information

International Atomic Energy Agency 


WNA's Iraq, North Korea & Iran - Implications for Safeguards information paper 


WNN: UN deadline passes, Iran presses on
 ElBaradei: 'Cap, not halt Iran's program'