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February 10, 2005 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-10

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 5A

U.S. may try to oust U.N. leader

Nuclear Agency
head may be
unseated
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The
United States is lobbying allies in a
bid to oust the head of the U.N. nuclear
watchdog agency, perhaps as early as
the end of the month, diplomats and
officials told The Associated Press
yesterday.
Anticipating that present European
diplomatic efforts on Iran will fail,
the diplomats and officials also told
AP that Washington plans to increase
pressure on Tehran over its nuclear
program when the International Atom-
ic Energy Agency meets Feb. 28.
In Tehran, Iranian President Moham-
mad Khatami told foreign diplomats
that no Iranian government would ever
abandon the progress the country has
made in developing peaceful nuclear
technology.

Washington, which accuses
Iran of making nuclear weapons
and wants it brought before the
U.N. Security Council for possible
sanctions, considers IAEA head
Mohammed ElBaradei too soft on
the Tehran leadership.
No U.S. comment was available on
Washington's strategy for the upcoming
IAEA board of governors meeting.
But several diplomats and govern-
ment officials from IAEA member
countries dismissed recent reports that
the United States had given up attempts
to unseat ElBaradei because of lack of
support from other countries.
"They've been lobbying, and close
friends have given them a good recep-
tion," said one of the officials familiar
with the issue, who, like the others,
spoke on condition of anonymity.
Another said Undersecretary of
State John Bolton and other senior
State Department officials "were still
lobbying the capitals, telling them it's
the way to go."

"They've been lobbying, and close friends
have given them a good reception."
- International Atomic Energy Agency
official who wished to remain anonymous.

With Elbaradei's agency spearhead-
ing international attempts to squelch
nuclear proliferation, the head of
the IAEA is a key position for Bush
administration officials. They want
someone who shares their views of
which country represents a nuclear
threat and what to do about it.
ElBaradei has challenged those
views - first over prewar Iraq and
then Iran, both labeled part of an "axis
of evil," along with North Korea, by
President Bush.
He first disputed U.S. assertions
that Saddam Hussein had an active
nuclear weapons program - claims
that remain unproven.

He then refused to endorse argu-
ments by Washington that nuclear
activities Iran claims are meant only
to generate power are actually part of
a clandestine weapons program.
A direct U.S. move to oust ElBara-
dei failed late last year - the Ameri-
cans were unable to find anyone to
challenge him for a third term by the
Dec. 31 deadline, shortly after calling
on him to step down with his second
term completed.
It remains unclear whether Wash-
ington could muster the 12 votes
needed among the 35-nation IAEA
board for a vote of nonconfidence in
ElBaradei.

APFILE rrOT
Mohammed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, left, and Kamal Kharrazi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, partici-
pate in a panel session on nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.

Bush asks for fund to

reward U.S.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush Admin
is askirg Congress to set up a $400 mil- which otl
lion fund to reward nations that have taken fund, par
political and economic risks to join U.S.- coax them
le&coalitions in Iraq and Afghanistan. in Iraq. S
The White House announced the fund, Zealand,
dubbed the "solidarity initiative," after and Hond
Bush's meeting yesterday with Aleksander One ad
Kwasniewski, the president of Poland, a was desig
nation that is to receive one-fourth of the European
money. ry, Roma
The $400 million request is part of the $80 meeting
billion supplemental war funding request Bush Traian Ba
will send to Congress next week. which has
"Poland has been a fantastic ally because "These
the president and the people of Poland love an investn
freedom," Bush said during his Oval Office will help
meeting with Kwasniewski, a staunch ally united wi
in the Iraq war. White Ho
"I know the people of your country must lan said
have been thrilled when the millions of will supp
people went to the polls" in Iraq. troops in
Poland has taken command of a mul- other par
tinational security force in central Iraq the world
that currently includes about 6,000 troops Kwasni
- among them more than 2,400 Polish tion abou
soldiers. Kwasniewski told reporters out- they had 1
side the White House that a reduction this help in th
month will leave Poland with 1,700 troops "If Iraq
in Iraq, but he said the 700 other troops ocratic sta
would remain ready in Poland to be imme- expect," K
diately deployed to Iraq if needed. White Hou

allies

istration officials declined to say
her nations would benefit from the
tly designed to reward allies and
m to stay in the U.S.-led coalition
pain, Singapore, Nicaragua, New
Thailand, Philippines, Norway
luras have left the coalition.
ministration official said the fund
gned to provide help to Eastern
nations, such as Ukraine, Hunga-
nia and the Baltic states. Bush is
March 9 at the White House with
asescu, the president of Romania,
s an estimated 700 troops in Iraq.
funds ... reflect the principle that
:ment in a partner in freedom today
ensure that America will stand
th stronger partners in the future,"
Duse press secretary Scott McClel-
in a statement. "This assistance
port nations that have developed
Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as
tners promoting freedom around
."
iewski declined to answer a ques-
ut whether the Polish people felt
been adequately rewarded for their
e U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.
finally will be an independent, dem-
ote, that's the highest reward we can
wasniewski told reporters outside the
use.

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