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Iran nuclear threat is 'hyped', ElBaradei says

Outgoing International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has described Iran nuclear threat as 'hyped', a U.S. magazine reported on Tuesday.

In an interview released by the Chicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on Tuesday, ElBaradei acknowledged that Iran needs to be more transparent with the IAEA and international community due to world concerns about Iran's disputed nuclear program.

"But the idea that we'll wake up tomorrow and Iran will have a nuclear weapon is an idea that isn't supported by the facts as we have seen them so far," said the chief of the UN atomic watchdog.

Prior to his latest remarks about Iran's nuclear program, ElBaradei said in Vienna on Friday that the IAEA still lacks necessary information to confirm whether Iran's nuclear program involves military nature, and this issue is actually not clarified.

While confirming Iran's centrifuges for uranium enrichment is still on the rise, ElBaradei said that the working condition for IAEA inspectors in Iran has been improved, noting the inspectors were allowed access to a nuclear reactor which is under construction.

The United States and its Western allies have been accusing Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under the disguise of developing civilian nuclear power. Iran has denied the accusation and stressed that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

ElBaradei, who has led the IAEA for 12 years and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, will be succeeded by Yukiya Amano, a veteran Japanese diplomat, at the end of November.

 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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