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EUR: Military strikes against Iran no longer an option: IAEA

21 Feb 2009 4:34 AM

PARIS, Feb 20 AFP - UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed El Baradei says in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday that he believed the possibility of a military solution to the Iran nuclear crisis had been ruled out.

"I believe so," he said when asked if he thought that after US President George W. Bush stood down it was no longer likely that there would be a military strike.

"Force can only be used as a last option... when all other political possibilities have been exhausted. I don't think we've done that yet," he told Radio France International and TV5-Monde.

The comments came a day after International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran was continuing to enrich uranium, a key stage in the atom bomb making process, but had slowed down the expansion of its enrichment activities.

The IAEA report conceded that, despite six years of intensive investigation, it was no closer to determining whether Iran's disputed nuclear drive is as peaceful as Tehran claims.