ElBaradei Remarks at Georgetown University

Proliferation Analysis
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei addressed a wide range of nonproliferation challenges yesterday in a conversation with Robert Gallucci at Georgetown University.
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IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei addressed a wide range of nonproliferation challenges yesterday in a conversation with Robert Gallucci at Georgetown University. The Director General was invited to receive the university’s prestigious Raymond “Jit” Trainor Award for Distinction in the Conduct of Diplomacy.


On North Korea, an East Asian Nuclear Chain Reaction, and Imposing Sanctions


ElBaradei made a clear distinction in his remarks between the North Korean and Iranian nuclear crises. The recent nuclear test in North Korea, ElBaradei stated, was a “cry for help” from a country that feels the nuclear issue “is the only trump card they have.” He said that their test is a “question of regime survival, and for them the test is to say… ‘we could do more harm… if you don’t come and talk to us.'”


In response to Gallucci’s question of whether Japan and South Korea will pursue nuclear weapons in response to the North Korean test, ElBaradei said that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice assured the U.S. allies that they would continue to be under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, but the Director General warned that a second test could lead to a “rethinking” by North Korea’s neighbors of whether to develop their own deterrents.


Sanctions, ElBaradei stated, “do not work as a penalty,” but should instead be viewed as a “measured way to induce change of behavior.”


On Iran


Iran is “not only a question of regime survival,” according to Dr. ElBaradei, but “a question of ideology.” He outlined that part of the concern about “Iran acquiring nuclear weapons is that it might pursue an aggressive foreign policy.”


Again stressing the importance of dialogue, the Director General commented on his perspective on how he believes Iran views the EU-Iranian negotiations, saying “talking to the Europeans is a bridge to reaching out to the U.S.” He stated his view that Iran “would like nothing else… than a normal relationship with the U.S.” Nuclear weapons, he continued, are a sign of prestige and influence, and he believes that Iranians see enrichment as the key to being “recognized as a major power.”


Acknowledging international apprehension about nuclear program, he discussed the difference between “future intention” and “industrial capacity.” The IAEA reported Iran to the Security Council in February 2006 for not fully reporting its nuclear activities. While Iran, he stated, has the capacity to enrich, “the jury is still out” on whether or not Iran has a nuclear weapons program.


On Dual-use Technologies


Dr. ElBaradei the broached a critical issue related to the Iranian nuclear crisis, indicating, “we need to stop the proliferation of enrichment and reprocessing [technology], because otherwise we’ll have, in addition to the nine nuclear weapons states we have today, another score of countries who I call ‘virtual’ nuclear weapons states, countries that are able to develop nuclear weapons overnight, if you like.”


Explaining a dangerous loophole in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Dr. ElBaradei stated that the NPT was developed 30 years ago and was based on the assumption that nuclear technology is a “very sophisticated technology that not many countries will be able to muster” and that “we can deal with it through export control.” However, the Director General said, “since the A.Q. Khan network and illicit trafficking, we have realized that many countries now can develop that technology… indigenously right now.” Dr. ElBaradei spoke about the need to “restrict an individual country or national countries having enrichment [or] reprocessing on their own.


He outlined possible solutions, saying that “we need an additional protocol, if you like, to the nonproliferation treaty that limits the acquisition of enrichment or reprocessing.” He added that at the very minimum, enrichment capabilities should be “multinational so no one country can sit on an enrichment factory , because sitting on an enrichment factory means that that country in a couple of months could develop a nuclear weapon, if their sense of security has changed.”


Addressing the inherent dangers of a civilian fuel cycle that can be used to either develop low-enriched uranium or highly-enriched uranium for bombs, he continued, “we need to see how much we can restrict the use of highly enriched uranium and plutonium on the civilian fuel cycle.” He noted that “a lot of technology R&D going on right now to develop a system that is proliferation resistance that does not automatically lead to a possibility of separating plutonium.”


We are trying to reduce very much the use of highly enriched uranium. I mean, we have a program that now converting all research reactors from highly enriched uranium into low enriched uranium.


Strengthening the Non-Proliferation Regime


Dr. ElBaradei spoke about the importance of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to strengthen international norms against nuclear testing. He said that a “clear-cut, legally binding norm against nuclear testing” would be useful in dealing with the North Korean nuclear test or India’s refusal to accept a test-ban.


He also urged the international community to begin negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. Addressing the contentious issue of whether a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty could be verifiable, the Director General said, “from our perspective, it is verifiable.” He continued, “It might not be perfect. It might be difficult some time, of course, because you have to make a distinction between the stockpile of the weapons states and a new production.” ElBaradei indicated that a verification system would make it difficult for countries to cheat. He also added that a de facto verification process already taking place in “Japan [and] in many other countries to make sure that we’re verifying the enrichment and reprocessing capability declared, and … to make sure that there is not undeclared enrichment for reprocessing.”




In his closing remarks, Dr. ElBaradei emphasized the need for those “nine states that have nuclear weapons to move towards nuclear disarmament.” He stated, “it’s a multi-pronged approach that we need to do so that at the end of the day, we can say we have what we think is a regime that can protect us from nuclear weapons being used either by states, or worse by extremist groups.”

End of document

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Source http://carnegieendowment.org/2006/10/24/elbaradei-remarks-at-georgetown-university/4j3h

In Fact



of the Chinese general public

believe their country should share a global leadership role.


of Indian parliamentarians

have criminal cases pending against them.


charter schools in the United States

are linked to Turkey’s Gülen movement.


thousand tons of chemical weapons

are in North Korea’s possession.


of import tariffs

among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been eliminated.


trillion a year

is unaccounted for in official Chinese income statistics.


of GDP in oil-exporting Arab countries

comes from the mining sector.


of Europeans and Turks

are opposed to intervention in Syria.


of Russian exports to China

are hydrocarbons; machinery accounts for less than 1%.


of undiscovered oil

is in the Arctic.


U.S. government shutdowns

occurred between 1976 and 1996.


of Ukrainians

want an “international economic union” with the EU.


million electric bicycles

are used in Chinese cities.


of the world’s energy supply

is consumed by cities.


of today’s oils

require unconventional extraction techniques.


of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.


of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.


of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.


of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.


million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3


now needs urgent assistance.


political parties

contested India’s last national elections.


of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.


of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.


of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.


of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.


billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.


billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.


increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.


billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.


of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.



were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.

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