"This is a critical stage, but in no way a crisis situation. This is about confidence building, the urgent need for Iran to take confidence building [steps], but it is not about any imminent threat," he said.
But el-Baradei added that Iran's move to resume limited enrichment of uranium last month "is not conducive" to restoring international trust.
El-Baradei was speaking as the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met in Vienna to discuss reporting Iran's nuclear program to the Security Council.
Later, an IAEA spokesperson said the board adjourned the meeting until tomorrow.
In Iran, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad dismissed warnings that his country faced international isolation because of its nuclear program. Tehran says it is for peaceful purposes.
On 2 February, the 35-member Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency began discussing a draft resolution aimed at referring the matter of Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council. The key section of the resolution is Section 1, which states that the Board of Governors:
Underlines that outstanding questions can best be resolved and confidence built in the exclusive peaceful nature of Iran's program by Iran responding positively to the calls for confidence building measures which the Board has made on Iran, and in this context deems it necessary for Iran to:
- reestablish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and processing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the Agency;
- reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;
- ratify promptly and implement in full Additional Protocol;
- pending ratification, continue to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol with Iran signed on 18 December 2003;
- implement the transparency measures, as requested by the Director General, which extend beyond the former requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations.
THE COMPLETE TEXT: To read the complete text of the resolution, click here.