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IAEA 'Alarmed' by Large International Nuclear Black Market
Melanie Sully
VOA, Vienna
05 Feb 2004, 17:34 UTC

 
The International Atomic Energy Agency says it is alarmed by revelations of a large global nuclear black market and is calling on countries to deal with companies and individuals involved in such trafficking.

<b>Mohamed ElBaradei</b>
Mohamed ElBaradei
The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, told reporters experts need to overhaul export controls on nuclear components. He said the Pakistani scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, who confessed to transferring secret nuclear technology to Libya, North Korea and Iran was just the "tip of the iceberg."

<b>Mark Gwozdecky</b>
Mark Gwozdecky
IAEA spokesman, Mark Gwozdecky, says Mr. Khan was not working alone.

"This apparent nuclear supermarket is the most dangerous phenomenon we've seen in many years," said Mark Gwozdecky. "Unfortunately it doesn't end with Mr. Khan and for us what we need to know is who supplied what, when and to whom and did anyone else get this kind of assistance."

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf Thursday pardoned Dr. Khan, who is regarded as a national hero, and said he wouldn't submit to IAEA supervision of the country's nuclear program.

Mr. Gwozdecky said the IAEA is in the process of investigating the proliferation network, and is working with countries, such as Malaysia, which are under suspicion for involvement in the illicit nuclear market.

He said the agency's inspectors are currently in the United States looking at weapons design blueprints for Libya's secret nuclear program.

He said the agency sealed sensitive nuclear components taken from 10 nuclear facilities in Libya and transported them to Tennessee. But the weapons blueprints were taken to another undisclosed location in the United States.