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Muhammad el-Baradei (file photo) (epa)
April 15, 2007 -- The director-general of the UN atomic watchdog agency, Muhammad el-Baradei, has called on Iran and Israel to join a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.
El-Baradei also said today the IAEA is ready to help Jordan acquire nuclear energy for peaceful use.
He spoke after talks in Jordan with King Abdullah II.
Israel is considered the sole nuclear power in the region. Iran is suspected of using a nuclear energy program to try to develop atomic weapons.
Meanwhile, Iran has said it is launching a tender for offers to build two new nuclear power stations in the southern city of Bushehr.
The announcement was made today by the director of production of nuclear energy, Ahmad Fayaz Bakhsh. He said the two new plants would have a capacity of between 1,000 and 1,600 megawatts.
Bushehr is the location of Iran's first nuclear power plant, which is being built by a Russian contractor.
However its completion, due for this year, has been held up by a string of delays.
(compiled from agency reports)