Jeffrey LewisElBaradei Speech at Stanford

Mohamed ElBaradei gave the Drell Lecture at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation, urging that “If we are ever to build a global security culture based on human solidarity and shared human values — a collective security framework that will serve the interests of all countries equally, and make reliance on nuclear weapons obsolete — the time is now.”

The address was balanced and insightful, but that didn’t stop the San Francisco Chronicle from declaring that it “was a remarkable challenge to President Bush only two days after his re-election, and it sets the IAEA chief on an open collision course with the administration.”

ElBaradei tried to calm things down, telling AP that “It’s unfortunate that people try to put the wrong spin on a very important issue.”

In other IAEA news … The IAEA discovered plutonium particles near an Egyptian nuclear facility. An IAEA Diplomat told AP that “From time to time these things pop up in places they should not be at. Most of the time, there is a reasonable answer.” Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said Beijing would prefer the IAEA, not the Security Council, to deal with the issue of Iran’s enrichment program. “I told all my colleagues that China supports a solution to this issue within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” Li told a news conference in Tehran. “I really don’t quite know if it will be brought to the Security Council. It would only make the issue more complicated and difficult to work out.”