In an interview with the German-language Die Presse, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei cautioned that the threat of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon was dramatically over-stated.
The greater threat to the region, ElBaradei insisted, was the possibility that Israel might some day make good on its long-standing threats and launch an attack on Iran. This, he said “would turn the entire region into a fireball.”
ElBaradei finished the interview with another appeal to turn the Middle East into a nuclear free zone, and insisted that Israel’s status as a non-signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty was the source of the regional imbalance.
Israel and the United States have insisted that Iran is attempting to create nuclear weapons, despite ample evidence to the contrary. The IAEA has continued to certify that none of its nuclear material has been diverted to any non-civilian purpose.