posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 01:16 AM
Responding to charges that the timing of the release of the report describing the missing 377 tons of explosives was politically motivated, the head
of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei, described it as "total junk". The issue has become a heated topic in the final week of
the U.S. Presidential campaign with John Kerry attacking the president on the issue.
UNITED NATIONS - U.N. nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday dismissed as "total junk" accusations that he timed the release of an Iraqi report on
the disappearance of 377 tons of high explosives to make it an issue in the U.S. presidential election.
The missing explosives have become a flashpoint in the final week of the campaign, with Democratic nominee John Kerry accusing President Bush of
"incredible incompetence" for not securing the dangerous material and saying the blunder should cost the commander in chief his job.
A number of political commentators and editorial writers have questioned the timing of the report, accusing ElBaradei of trying to boost Kerry's
chances against Bush in next Tuesday's election.
"It's total junk," ElBaradei told The Associated Press when asked about accusations that the timing of the disclosure was linked to the U.S. election.
"The timing probably is unfortunate, but there is a world out there other than the American election."
In a separate CNN interview, he said, "It's unfortunate that it's taking a political spin," quickly adding, "that's not ours."
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ElBaradei also indicated "The timing probably is unfortunate, but there is a world out there other than the American election." The timing according
to the IAEA was because of an October 10th letter they had received from Iraq’s Ministry of Science and Technology, that the material had disappeared.
Furthermore, he indicated that he told the U.S. government before the story broke in hopes they could retrieve the material.