Saturday, May 16, 2009

ElBaradei: Israel would be 'utterly insane' to attack Iran

from The Jerusalem Post
May 16, 2009

Israel would be "utterly insane" to attack Iran, outgoing International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in an interview with German daily Der Spiegel Saturday.

"That would turn the region into one great fireball, and the Iranians would immediately begin building the bomb - with the support of the entire Islamic world." [If Iran would immediately begin building the bomb, then ElBaradei is admitting that they already have the material and know-how to do it. If that's the case, then Israel does need to bomb Iran. Elbaradei is one of the main reasons why Iran has progressed so far with their nuclear program. - my comments]

In the interview ElBaradei called on Teheran to take advantage of the US's newfound willingness to negotiate over the nuclear issue.

"I advise the [officials] I meet from Iran: Seize the hand that Obama is offering you," he said.

ElBaradei, with whom Israel has had a rocky relationship, is stepping down after a 12-year tenure.

While Israel has taken no formal stand regarding who it would like to see win out as his successor, government sources in Jerusalem seem to prefer the Japanese candidate, Yukiya Amano.

The 35 board-member nations of the International Atomic Energy Agency failed to elect a new agency chief in their first rounds of voting.

The race is important because ElBaradei's successor will influence how the world meets the nuclear challenges posed by extremists like Iran and Syria who are thought to be looking for the bomb. Nonproliferation is the IAEA's most high-profile task.

Herb Keinon, Hilary Krieger and AP contributed to this report.
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