this is bbc news, the latest headlines. a court in new york has found r kelly guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering in connection with the abuse of women and children. the prosecution laid out in very detail how r kelly ran a criminal enterprise that had recruited and women for sex. reports from south korea say an unidentified projectile has been launched from north korea. south korea's military set of leaves one project i was fired into the sea of japan. japanese media said the object appears to be a missile. the british government says that army truck drivers will be put on standby in case they are needed to deliver fuel to petrol station. many outlets ran dry after many days of demand, motorists feared shortage because of a lack of tankage delivery drivers.
now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hard tour, with me zainab badawi. there is concern over new tensions over iran's nuclear programme. tehran assists it is only developing nuclear power for civilian purposes but now israel has warned that it crosses all redlines and that it will not allow orion to acquire nuclear weapons. this follows warnings by washington and the european union that iran must allow international weapons inspectors, full access to its workshops. my guest is rafael grossi, director—general of the international atomic agency. has his inspection programme failed and squandered all hopes to a diplomatic solution to this crisis? director—general
rafael grossi, it's your headquarters in vienna, welcome to hardtalk. let's start with iran. the president said the us intends to return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal with iran that president trump tore up. your mandate is to inhibit the use of nuclear power for military purposes. how worried in general are you about iran's nuclear programme? it’s general are you about iran's nuclear programme? it's good to be with you. _ nuclear programme? it's good to be with you, thank _ nuclear programme? it's good to be with you, thank you. - nuclear programme? it's good to be with you, thank you. we - nuclear programme? it's good to be with you, thank you. we are l be with you, thank you. we are as worried as we should be, no
more, no less. we have a vision, we have inspections to carry out, and these inspections have to do with the entire nuclear programme of the islamic republic of iran and as you are saying, this is in connection, deeply interconnected with the possibility or not to return to the famous gc poa, signed in 2015 which the united states withdrew from in 2018, and since the beginning of this year, there has been a diplomatic effort here in vienna to try to return to it. so there are many aspects, and we other guarantors of whatever is agreed or not in iran, so we are constantly looking into this situation.— are constantly looking into this situation. for those who need reminding, _ this situation. for those who need reminding, gc- this situation. for those who need reminding, gc poa - this situation. for those who i need reminding, gc poa refers to thejoint need reminding, gc poa refers to the joint comprehensive plan of action which is what the
nuclear deal in 2015 is described as. look, how seriously can we take your monitoring of what's going on in iran? youjust monitoring of what's going on in iran? you just said we want to carry out inspections and so on, but on the 16th of september, orion acknowledged that it had removed several surveillance cameras installed by your nuclear inspectors at a centrifuge assembly site, a workshop. now we have america telling orion to grant your inspectors access, otherwise orion will face diplomatic retaliation, the european union says the fact that you your inspectors are not allowed into this workshop is a worrying development. doesn't look like you are getting very far? i would say first of all, we are the only international presence in orion, which is essential, because we carry out a number of inspections, some of which are regular, but there
are obligations that iran has as a signatory party to this and then, on top of that, on top of this agreement, we agreed a few months ago to have some additional indispensable monitoring and verification capabilities that would allow us to store and keep very potent information about what is going on in terms of uranium enrichment, in terms of the production of centrifuges, different technical areas. so if and when the parties to this agreement, the daisy poa, an agreement, the daisy poa, an agreement is reached or arrived at then we can have a full picture. you don't have a full
picture. you don't have a full picture. the iranians removed those surveillance cameras. we have as full a picture as can be obtained in the circumstances, which is quite nice. i must tell you that our inspection effort in iran is vast. we are present at all fu silts that iran has. and we have inspections every day of the year, carrying out permanently this type of... you're not convincing key players in the region. take what the israeli prime minister, naftali bennett, has issued a statement saying, "iran seeks to dominate the middle east under a nuclear umbrella. all red lines have been crossed by its programme," he says. "words do not stop centrifuges." he says israel will not allow iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. i don't think that what the israeli prime minister is saying, in any way, can be construed as not having faith in our inspections. the issue there is the impression, or the conviction,
that iran having capabilities in the nuclear area is a danger in itself. but that is a political thing. and i'm not getting into that political thing. what i'm telling you is that what we can see is exactly where iran is, and what makes the present moment so important — and here, i would agree with the note of, i would say, preoccupation — is that, if we were to be limited in the scope, in the access that we have to iran, then we would start losing ground and losing the capability to know exactly what is happening to the last detail. so i'm not analysing what the prime minister is saying — i'm saying our effort is vast. you know by the gram how much uranium enrichment is taking place.
we know exactly what is going on in different places. the problem is now that we have this possibility of an interims. this is a problem. this is a key problem, and that's why it's led to this kind of language the americans saying, "iran, let in the inspectors to this vital workshop — otherwise, you'll face diplomatic retaliation." that's the point i'm making. everybody had high hopes — joe biden comes in and says, "look, we're going to have the talks..." you have the iranian foreign ministry in the past few days saying, "we think talks are going to start in a matter of weeks." now, this is a setback. do you accept that or not? this is. but we are working on it. i think that the possibility of a return to an agreement — i wouldn't say it's dependent, but it would be extremely difficult if our inspection
capabilities are limited. so we are trying to keep them there. we have them. there is a certain issue at the place. the americans are not asking — i am asking. the iaea is asking iran to respect what i agreed with them past sunday, september the 12th, where we agreed that we would be able to service all our equipment you were referring to there that's part of it, it's not the whole thing, there's much more than that. so that we can carry on with this work. i should just remind everybody that the international atomic energy agency was set up in 1957. you're an autonomous organisation. you're not under the direct control of the united nations. but you do report to the un. 0k. so, give us an idea, then, of how confident you should be? because you recently returned from a visit to iran
where you had talks with mohammad salami, chief of the atomic energy organisation of iran. however, we have a new hardline president, ebrahim raisi, in iran. what's your assessment? what are the dynamics? do you think you're going to get the full access that you want? we are pressing for that. by the way, as part of this trip, as a result of this trip, we agreed with iran that i will be returning soon — probably to meet with the president or the foreign minister — because, as you're saying, this is a new government. and it's a government that has quite firm views on the issue of the nuclear programme and the collaboration with the iaea or the international community in general. so i've told them and they agreed and i hope we are going to be able to do this very soon, that we need to get to know each other.
we need to start the conversation. i was working with a previous government and there is a new one, now, and there is one that has had, in its platform — if we can use this term, in the case of the political system in iran — a tougher approach to collaboration with international community. so i need to sit down with them. i want to listen to them, what their idea is, and i hope they would also listen to me. all right. but you know what? as naftali bennett said, words do not stop centrifuges. are you worried about a possible escalation to this crisis? centrifuges are not supposed to be stopped, i must say, because the international community has agreed that iran can enrich uranium... yeah, but not weapons—grade. not to weapons grade. i mean a certain amount. of course, some countries have different views. sure.
some countries would rather iran not do anything in the area, but that is not a matter of discussion for me. we know what he means — weapons—grade uranium. yes, i know what he means. just to finish this particular conversation about iran, then — have we seen dashed hopes of a diplomatic solution to this crisis, and is there a real possibility of some kind of conflagration or escalation or diplomatic retaliation, or whatever, against iran? i cannot afford to give up. i'm concerned at this moment because i have a problem. i'm not denying it. i'm working on it. this is myjob. another big part of yourjob is, of course, to ensure that there isn't, you know, weapons proliferation, nuclear weapons proliferation, all over the world. and another big area of worry is china. so the arms control association said this month that china's constructing at least 250 new long—range missile silos in a sign that it may be expanding its nuclear arsenal.
the us secretary of state, antony blinken, has expressed his concern about what he describes as "the rapid growth of china's nuclear arsenal". he said that in august. so, we talked about iran. how worried are you about china? me will be me i think we have to be reminded of a fundamentalfact, which is that china is part of the countries that were recognised in the international order, nuclear order, that we have, as being one nuclear weapon state together with the united kingdom where you live, together with france, with the russian federation, with the united states of america. yes, all right. so the fact that they have nuclear weapons now doesn't mean they have proliferated. they have had them for a long time and, as the other countries... you know what i'm getting at, director—general. i know where you're getting, but i think it's important to clarify this, otherwise people think china has nuclear weapons and other countries don't. i think what you're perhaps aiming at is the fact that we are seeing the
possibility of a new nuclear arms race, which is of course worrisome because it is also part of the obligations of nuclear weapon states to disarm, or at least to take measures in good faith, to walk towards less nuclear weapons, less dependence on nuclear weapons. and we are seeing the opposite. but, here, this is a matter that reflects current geostrategic tensions in the world. that's it. it reflects current geostrategic tensions in this world, precisely. and it's notjust the proliferation or the arms race, as you talk about — it is what those arms might be deployed for. and a republican congressman, mike turner, says, "the build—up in china is unprecedented, and china is deploying nuclear weapons to threaten the united states and its allies." so what's your assessment
of why china is doing this? i don't have views on what american politicians say about china. as i say, china has nuclear weapons. the united states has nuclear weapons. france has nuclear weapons. they have motivations. and political objectives. and we do recognise them. what we do at the iaea is to try to ensure that the problem does not get even worse than it is at the moment. all right. one problem you don't want to get even worse than it is at the moment — a country not recognised as one of the recognised nuclear powers, of course — is north korea. exactly. you've got a major problem with that. kimjong—un, the leader of north korea, has restarted a critical reactor widely believed to produce weapons—grade plutonium at its nuclear materials complex for the first time since 2018. in september, he tested long—range cruise missiles.
all worrying developments. how tough can you get with north korea? you haven't had inspectors there. no. we were kicked out from the dprk in 2009. exactly. this doesn't mean that we don't know what's going on. my last report to the board of governors of the iaea indicated that we have clear signs that the programme, the nuclear weapons programme in the dprk, is running full steam ahead. they are enriching uranium again. they are separating plutonium. so there is an effort that seems to be ongoing to increase their nuclear arsenal. dprk is a case where a potential issue went wrong in the sense that it proliferated. there were efforts,
until 2006, which failed. this is why i'm so concerned about iran and other cases. in the case of the dprk, they didn't have nuclear weapons. diplomacy failed. now, they are a nuclear—weapon—possessor state. that being said, we are preparing to go back as soon as there is a political agreement at the level of the six party talks as there used to be — this is a process that involved a number of countries in the region. or, bilaterally with the united states, if that is the case. we are honing our skills and preparing our inspectors to go back as soon as there is an agreement. 0k. despite all this firing and testing and so on, were you heartened in any way by the comments made by kim jong—un�*s sister, a very powerfulforce in north korea, making conciliatory statements about south korea, saying
that the korean war has ended, south korea said, and there was perhaps talk that... it was a good sign. it's an indication that there is a recognition at some point, at some level, that the objective of denuclearising the korean peninsula is still important, and it may be important even for them. so there is some space for diplomacy there, which is going — again — to have to be underpinned by the iaea and its inspectors. all right. good. and of course, i was referring to the fact that the korean war in the �*50s wasn't formally ended — there was just an armistice, and now there's talk about that changing. indeed. yes. you said the idea is to stop countries that don't have nuclear weapons proliferating. what do you make, then, about the fact that australia — through this aukus deal with the united states and the united kingdom — is going to acquire nuclear submarines? that's a proliferation of the technology. i mean, of course australia's not going to be interested
in developing nuclear weapons, it says. but nevertheless, you must be worried about the expansion of this? i think it's a very important matter that we have now on the political agenda internationally. why? because, as you rightly say, this doesn't mean that australia — which has an impeccable non—proliferation credential — is going to have nuclear weapons all of a sudden. but it's getting sensitive technology and, from my perspective, what is important is the fact that, when you have a nuclear—propelled submarine, you are entitled — you can exclude some material from our inspections. which is obvious, because this is a military vessel that goes out in the seas for months, and this is one of the characteristics of nuclear submarines that can go for two months or even more without coming back to port. so it is a technically very tricky question, and it will be the first time that a country that does not have nuclear weapons has a nuclear sub. in other words, a country that is taking material away from the inspectors
for some time. and we are talking about very highly enriched uranium. what this means is that we — with australia, with the united states, and with the united kingdom — we have to enter into a very complex technical negotiation to see to it that, as a result of this, there is no weakening of the nuclear non—proliferation regime. all right. you've commented on that. there have been comments about double standards that you're more concerned about iran, for instance, not being allowed to develop nuclear power for civilian purposes. talking about nuclear power
for civilian purposes, your agency's a huge advocate of nuclear energy as a source of power in the world. yes. so why do you think you're right and your critics — who don't like nuclear power — are wrong? well, nuclear energy has been traditionally, as you know, one of those things that elicits emotions. there are historical reasons, sociological reasons — whatever. the reality is that, at the moment, with red alert for humanity as the last report of the experts on climate change have said, for this group and others who are not necessarily nuclear lobbyists, they all recognise, in all their projections, that without nuclear energy, it would be simply impossible to get to a de—carbonised economy by 2030 and 2050, especially in countries like china, like india, or the united states, or france, or many others that have been able to use clean energy like nuclear energy to de—carbonise, not to make the problem worse.
we are planning — i am planning — to come to glasgow in november. as you know, there's going to be this big meeting of all nations working on climate change. the so—called cop26. there, we are going to be reaffirming this idea that nuclear has a place at the table, of course. all right. so, you said that there's a lot of emotion wrapped up in this discussion about nuclear energy. are people being emotional when they say that nuclear waste being buried far beneath the earth is going to be toxic for thousands of years? greenpeace usa say this is not desirable and that there is no safe, reliable solution for dealing with the radioactive waste produced by nuclear plants. that's not people being emotional. that's a very legitimate concern, isn't it? of course, every opinion is legitimate and has to be
taken very seriously. but i would say that, if the affirmation is that nuclear or high—level waste stored in this way in deep geological repositories is toxic, it's not emotional — it's simply wrong. greenpeace in the united states says, "every waste dump in the us leaks radiation into the environment, and nuclear plants themselves are running out of ways to store highly radioactive waste on site." it's simply incorrect. well... the whole amount of nuclear waste in the united states would fit in a stadium. as i say, there is a combination, an unhappy combination, i must say, of emotion or ideology — yes, ideology — and scientific incorrectness or inaccuracy. the technology exists. it's available. and it's been used to keep nuclear waste safely stored
without having any material effect to the environment. other disadvantages — very expensive to build, and also they take a long time to build properly, and you need highly efficient technically trained staff to manage them, otherwise you get leaks like the one we saw in fukushima and so on. so you've got a huge pr problem, haven't you, with nuclear? i would agree with the last part of what you said. there is a pr problem for nuclear energy. i would not agree with what you said before. the issue of costs — we might need several editions of hardtalk to discuss it. it's not exactly like that. but i would say that now, nuclear energy is moving into small— and medium—sized reactors which are, of course, much easier to fabricate and to deploy. here, i want to be clear because we don't have any commercial interest in this.
it is obvious nuclear energy is a commercial option for those who may wish to use it. rafael grossi, director of the international atomic energy agency, thank you very much indeed for coming on hardtalk. a pleasure. thank you very much. hello, there. for most of this september, temperatures have been a lot warmer than you might normally expect to see. temperatures over the weekend, for example, reached 23 degrees and north scotland's kinloss. but a cold front has since moved through and that's really dumped the temperatures. in kinloss, the same spot, down to 13 degrees
for a high on monday. and there were plenty of showers following our cold front through. that was one of those shower clouds working across the skies of aberporth. there is the cold front, there are the shower clouds but lurking to our west, this is what is coming next and this is a developing low, developing fronts that are going to spread more persistent rain in. however, over the next few hours, it is showers that are in the forecast so if you are heading outside, wales, parts of south—west england, along with northern ireland and west scotland, that is where you are most likely to see showers over the next few hours. across many central and eastern areas, a lot of dry weather with clear spells. so not a bad start to the day. mostly bright and dry but across wales, western areas of england, quickly that area of cloud, that i showed you, that is this rain that's going to be moving its way in, pushing eastwards and northwards through the day. the rain does eventually reach southern and eastern scotland. north—west scotland and northern ireland, thopugh brighter. again, of sunshine and showers here. and of the day's top temperatures between around about 1k and 17 degrees.
fairly gusty winds. once that weather system clears out of the way, as we get into wednesday, what follows is a ridge of high pressure. now the weather for many of us will be dry with increasing amounts of sunshine. however, you are going to see showers feeding in across these north—western areas so west scotland, to the north of northern ireland, northern parts of wales and into north—west england, through areas like merseyside, cheshire, greater manchester and the west midlands. you may see showers even into the afternoon. temperatures about 13—16 degrees. wednesday promises to be one of the cooler days of the week but a fair amount of sunshine. there won't be too much of that sunshine on offer on thursday though because we have got an active at weather system set to come in, bringing some heavy outbreaks of rain and strengthening winds as well towards the north—west as we go on through the day. might even see some gales developing in places. temperatures about 1a to maybe a 17 in the south—west of england and we have got more of this very unsettled weather for friday. general outbreak, still quite windy. something of an improvement over the weekend, we are back to a mixture