Menu

Iran Stands Up Chief U.N. Inspector for Nuke Talks

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei said Friday the international community is losing patience with Iran over its nuclear program. ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he hopes the outstanding nuclear issues with Iran will be clarified next year.

"They are inching forward and I'm asking them to leap forward," said ElBaradei, who shares the award with the IAEA.

He said he hopes outstanding nuclear issues with Tehran will be clarified by the time he presents his next report on Iran in March, because "the international community is losing patience with the nature of that program."

"The ball is in Iran's court. It is up to Iran to show the kind of transparency they need to show," ElBaradei told reporters.

He encouraged European negotiators to continue talks with Iran.

"The parties need to sit together, discuss their grievances and reach a solution," he said. "If we can do that without escalating the problem, all the much better."

No date has been set to resume the talks with Britain, France and Germany, which broke off in August after Tehran restarted uranium conversion, a precursor to enrichment.

The IAEA and much of the world community have been pushing Iran's religious leaders to allow closer inspection of the nuclear program that Tehran claims is intended only for energy.

ElBaradei is to receive the Nobel Prize at a ceremony Saturday.