The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog says Iran is between three and eight years away from producing a nuclear bomb, if it so wishes. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei underlined what he calls the growing risk of confrontation between the West and Iran.
In a press conference in Luxembourg, he maintained Iran’s nuclear programme must be kept in check. “My proliferation or non-proliferation priorities should continue to be that Iran should not go at an industrial scale, that we should be able to do comprehensive, robust verification, and that we would like to make sure that Iran will continue to
be part of the regime,” he said.
An IAEA report released yesterday stated Iran is making “significant advances” in uranium enrichment, defying world demands. The United States has moved nine warships into the Persian Gulf, in a move that many view as a manoeuvre to display American impatience with Iran.
However, US sources say the deployment is linked to the continuing problems in Iraq. The US has said it will now press for a new set of sanctions to be imposed on Iran but they will have to persuade the UN Security Council to do so.