‘We Are Moving Rapidly Towards an Abyss’

United Nations chief weapons inspector Mohamed ElBaradei spoke to SPIEGEL about Iran’s last chance to convince the world of the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, his problems with the US government and his fear of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.

SPIEGEL: Mr. ElBaradei, the international community suspects that Iran aims to build nuclear weapons. Tehran denies this. Have we now reached the decisive phase in which we will finally get an answer to this central question of world politics?Mohamed ElBaradei: Yes. The next few months will be crucial for the overall situation in the Middle East. Whether we move in the direction of escalation or in the direction of a peaceful solution.

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