Vienna, 1 December 2009 Press release

Spindelegger on Iran: “The escalation should not be allowed to gain momentum”

Foreign Minister on Iran’s nuclear programme and change in leadership of IAEA

Vienna, 1 December 2009 – “I am looking forward to continuing our good cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency under the new Director General Yukiya Amano and wish him the best of success in this responsible task. With Amano, the IAEA will be headed by an experienced diplomat and an established expert in the field of atomic energy, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” stated Federal Minister Michael Spindelegger to mark the assumption of office by the new IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano, on 1 December.

Spindelegger also thanked the outgoing Director General, Mohammed El Baradei, for the longstanding cooperation based on trust. “In a quiet way, with great expertise and a clear holistic view, El Baradei has made an essential contribution to strengthening the IAEA and Vienna as a hub for the international dialogue on security. The Atomic Energy Agency is and remains a pillar of the global security architecture. Austria will continue to provide consistent support to the IAEA, not least in its capacity as host nation” Spindelegger continued.

The change in leadership at the top of the IAEA was occurring at a time of special challenges, emphasised the Foreign Minister. “Iran’s latest announcement as regards the construction of further uranium enrichment plants is a serious blow to our efforts to reach a solution by way of negotiations. Our hand for dialogue is still extended, but the international community of states is on the verge of losing its patience. Iran should stop escalating the situation and instead try to take swift and concrete confidence-building steps,” concluded the Foreign Minister.


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