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Elbaradei favors dialog rather than isolation in solving Iranian nuclear issue: report
27/8/2007 16:27

The Iranian nuclear issue should be settled through dialogue and isolation could only make Iran's hardliners stronger, said the chief of the UN atomic watchdog, quoted by Austria's magazine Profile due to be published today.
Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the magazine that he has been consistently in support of a settlement of the Iranian issue through dialogue.
"We must affirm that Iran opened its nuclear program and it was a progress," ElBaradei said, adding that the IAEA needs to know the whole nuclear project of Iran.
Iran has worked out an action plan with the IAEA to solve the open issues concerning its nuclear program, he said, referring to an agreement reached early last week.
The pact was meant to eliminate the IAEA's concerns over any possible military involvement in Iran's nuclear program and to improve access for UN inspectors to its underground uranium-enrichment plant.
ElBaradei said the world must wait and see whether Iran's cooperation with the IAEA is serious or not. He also called on Iran to hold security dialogues with its neighbors, Israel and the United States.
The world should support Iranian moderates, who favor dialogue instead of confrontation in handling the nuclear issue, ElBaradei said, warning that isolation could only lead to a stronger camp of the hardliners in Iran.
He believed the UN sanctions against Iran should go along with direct dialogue. Sanctions alone could not result in settlement of the issue.
The Iranian nuclear issue would also be on the agenda of the upcoming conference of the IAEA board of governors and its General Conference on Sept. 10-21.