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World News

ElBaradei urges Iran to stick to nuclear promises

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei delivers his speech during a public lecture on Nuclear Power in Kuala Lumpur July 18, 2007. Iran must stick to its promises to be more open with the International Atomic Energy Agency about its nuclear power plans and the international community must encourage it, the body's chief said on Thursday. REUTERS/Zainal Abd Halim

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran must stick to its promises to be more open with the International Atomic Energy Agency about its nuclear power plans and the international community must encourage it, the body’s chief said on Thursday.

Mohamed ElBaradei, receiving a special award for services to nuclear power, welcomed Iran’s promise last week and said compliance would be crucial.

“The next couple of months will be critical for Iran to demonstrate its good faith in implementing what it is committed to do,” the IAEA head told reporters. “If they do that I think we will begin to move into a completely different phase.”

“I hope that Iran would move and the international community would continue to encourage it to move in that direction,” he said at a meeting of the World Nuclear Association.

He made no comment on criticism that the IAEA’s deal with Iran was merely a further bid by Tehran to buy time while it secretly developed a nuclear weapons capability.

Iran denies having nuclear weapons ambitions and says it want to develop nuclear power instead.

ElBaradei told the meeting nuclear-produced electricity had an important role in combating climate change from burning fossil fuels for power and transport, but added that safety, security and non-proliferation had to be guaranteed.

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