IAEA chief ElBaradei to discuss Iran standoff in Berlin

Iran Materials 15 April 2008 17:49 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is set to discuss the standoff with Iran over that nation's nuclear programme in Berlin on Thursday before attending a conference on nuclear fuel.

The German Foreign Ministry said Tuesday ElBaradei would meet with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Germany has been a leader in efforts to promote non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The two-day Berlin conference, to be attended by 80 experts from 32 nations, will discuss the challenges of world trade in nuclear fuel, the ministry said.

It is to be jointly hosted by Germany, Britain and the Netherlands. While Germany has legislation in force to phase out all nuclear power by the early 2020s, Britain plans to build new nuclear power plants as a way to cut carbon-dioxide emissions.

Steinmeier proposed last year that the world agree to the IAEA obtaining its own special territory as the site for an internationally supervised uranium-enrichment plant.

The joint control would ensure that uranium was not diverted to weapons programmes.

The proposal was linked to the negotiations with Iran, which has flatly refused demands by the international community to suspend uranium enrichment.

Tehran, which denies the work is aimed at acquiring nuclear weapons, has said it aims to install at least 54,000 enrichment centrifuges to process uranium for planned nuclear power stations.