VIENNA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- UN atomic watchdog chief
Mohamed ElBaradei said in an interview with Xinhua that China has been offering
"valuable support" to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
China is playing an increasingly important role
globally, also notably in IAEA, ElBaradei told Xinhua after a meeting of IAEA
governing board that was closed earlier this week.
International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei (File Photo)
a fast growing economy with a vast need for energy, China has become
increasingly reliable on nuclear power, which is expected to grow five-folds by
Nuclear power will not entail grave impact on climate
and can secure a country's energy independence, he said.
The agency is working very closely with China, he
said, noting that the two sides have built a joint training center in China
where nuclear security experts are being trained.
"China is not only a recipient, but a contributor,"
The director general said he has received a
congratulatory letter this week from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao who pledged
China's continued commitment to work with IAEA in promoting peaceful use of
nuclear energy and preventing nuclear proliferation.
"Development and security are the key challenges we
are facing," he said. ElBaradei noted that globally 2 billion people are still
living under two dollars a day and 1.6 million people still have no access to
"Energy is the engine to development," he said.
Peaceful use of nuclear energy can help alleviate
poverty, and the agency is expected to expand programs in this respect, he said.
However, nuclear material can potentially be used to
make nuclear weapons, therefore the agency is committed to enforce nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty. "The IAEA is fully aware of its responsibility ...
Still we need to address these concerns through diplomatic means," he said.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a
good example when it comes to negotiations, said Elbaradei.
There have been "positive results" after the
six-party talks in which China has been playing a very important role, he said.
The director general called for continued dialogue
with Iran over its controversial nuclear program which he considered of vital
importance to the security in the Middle East. "We should not add oil to the
fire," he said.
Meanwhile, ElBaradei called on Iran to observe the UN
Security Council resolution, which requires Iran to suspend uranium enrichment
immediately, to build global trust and confidence.
"We are not yet in a position to declare Iran's
programs are exclusively for peaceful purpose ... but we are moving forward," he
Iran has, for the first time in five years, agreed in
late August with IAEA to clarify outstanding issues with its nuclear program.
"We will be in a much better position" if Iran would
fully cooperate, he said.
On the other hand, said the IAEA chief, "we have not
seen any undeclared nuclear facilities operating ... We have not seen concrete
evidence that Iran's program has been weaponized."
Iranian leaders have said Tehran would not bow to
western pressure to suspend uranium enrichment, which Iran repeatedly claims
will only be used for peaceful means such as generating power.
Western countries have been pushing for UN sanctions
to stop Iran's nuclear program, a potential pathway to nuclear