CAIRO (Reuters) – The international community is starting to lose patience with Iran over its nuclear plans but military action is not the solution, the head of the U.N’s nuclear watchdog said in remarks published on Wednesday.
In an interview with Arabic daily Al-Hayat, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei said the global community was worried Iranian ambitions to enrich uranium could lead to nuclear weapons.
"This window (for finding a solution) is not present forever. The international community has begun to lose its patience with Iran," he said. "The international community is fearful of Iran acquiring the process of enriching uranium, because if a state obtains the ability to enrich uranium it is not far from the capability to produce nuclear weapons," he added.
The West suspects Iran’s atomic programme may be a front for developing weapons, which Tehran denies.
Tehran says it needs nuclear technology to meet its booming demand for electricity.
"If a state has the ability to do that (enrich uranium or plutonium), that means that it is only a few months from producing nuclear weapons," ElBaradei said. But he added that ending Iran’s atomic programme by force was not an option. "A military solution to the problem of a nuclear Iran is not realistic, inconceivable, and non-existent. I hope that no one is thinking of a military solution because it will lead to the opposite, aggravating the situation greatly," he said.