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Transcripts of Interviews

IAEA & ElBaradei Win Nobel Prize


Aired October 7, 2005 - 05:30 ET

This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

COSTELLO: We´ve been talking all morning about the Nobel Peace Prize going to Mohamed ElBaradei and the IAEA. Its spokesperson is on the phone right now, Melissa Fleming. She´s in Vienna.

Good morning - Melissa.


COSTELLO: And congratulations.

FLEMING: Thank you. Thank you. It really is a proud day for us here in Vienna. We´re all kind of walking around stunned but with big smiles on our face.

COSTELLO: I bet. Did it come as a total surprise?

FLEMING: In fact, not total. There was some press speculation, but only press speculation before. We were - we´ve been nominated for the last three years, so you know everybody was a little bit hopeful, but no one really believed, until we heard the announcement, that we would really get this prize.

I mean this is, for us, the ultimate recognition, the ultimate award. And we're just not only extremely proud to be recipients of it as a recognition of our work, but we think it will really do so much to strengthen our hand for our future work.

COSTELLO: Tell me more about that. Let´s get into that, because I know that you have many challenges ahead with the countries of North Korea and also Iran in making sure that they use their nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

FLEMING: Well, sure, you know we need to be taken seriously when we go in these countries. Countries need to cooperate with us. They need to open their doors. Many times they have to be asked to go beyond their legal obligations. So they, you know, just for the sake of proving that they, as they say, do not have nuclear weapons, they need to open up more doors. I think this Nobel Prize will give the IAEA even more credibility and also, let´s say, moral authority to, you know, demand more cooperation.

COSTELLO: You know there was a rift at one time, especially in the lead up to the Iraq war, between the United States and the IAEA. Is that rift gone now?

FLEMING: Well I think it is gone. I think - and it never really was that damaging, let´s say. The U.S. has been the biggest supporter of the IAEA throughout its history. It´s certainly the largest financial contributor and in-kind contributor. It also contributes with, you know, information, with assistance in many ways. So right now I can say we have excellent relations and cooperation with this very important member state, the United States.

COSTELLO: Well, congratulations once again. Melissa Fleming from the IAEA joining us live this morning from Vienna.