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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

ElBaradei: Sanctions on North Korea and Iran could empower 'hardliners'

Mohammed ElBaradei, executive director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told an audience at Georgetown University last night that he believed that the sanctions imposed on North Korea and under consideration in Iran would empower 'hardliners' in both countries. And just whom does ElBaradei think is in power in those countries today, humanitarians?

ElBaradei, whose International Atomic Energy Agency completely missed the boat on Iran's nuclear development, said that he remained unconvinced Iran was developing nuclear weapons and "absolutely" believed a nuclear deal with Pyongyang was still possible. ElBaradei questioned whether sanctions in general could work, but said if they were applied they must be done in a "measured way to induce a change of behavior" and coupled simultaneously with efforts to engage the two states in dialogue. "In all these issues, dialogue is indispensable," he said.

Meanwhile, Iran and North Korea are laughing all the way to the bank. Iran has launched a second batch of 164 nuclear centrifuges at its pilot nuclear fuel plant. While the 164 centrifuges of the new facility were not producing enriched uranium, even the decision to "dry test" them showed Iran's defiance of the Security Council. Both North Korea and Iran have threatened that they will retaliate if sanctions are imposed on them.


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