UN nuclear boss warns warmongers over Iran · Heed lessons from Iraq, ElBaradei says · French foreign minister says world must brace for war · Iranian president talks of peace with US Peter Walker, Mark Tran and agencies Monday September 17, 2007 Guardian Unlimited Mohamed ElBaradei says there should be no talk of the use of force. Photograph: Hans Punz/AP The head of the UN's nuclear agency today warned against any increase in "hype" about war with Iran, saying countries should heed the lessons of the build-up to the Iraq conflict. The strongly worded comments by Mohamed ElBaradei, who runs the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), followed a warning by the French foreign minister that the world should brace itself for a possible war with Iran. "We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war," Bernard Kouchner told French TV and radio. While talks over Iran's nuclear programme should continue "right to the end", Mr Kouchner said, an Iranian nuclear weapon would pose "a real danger for the whole world". France has taken a much harsher line towards Iran since the election of Nicolas Sarkozy to success Jacques Chirac as president. In a perceived riposte, Mr ElBaradei urged caution. "We need to be cool," he told reporters at the IAEA's annual conference in Vienna. "We need not to hype the issue. "I would not talk about any use of force," he said. "There are rules on how to use force, and I would hope that everybody would have gotten the lesson after the Iraq situation, where 700,000 innocent civilians have lost their lives on the suspicion that a country has nuclear weapons." One of the major arguments put forward by the US and UK for invading Iraq in 2003 was that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms. But nothing was found. The US has in recent days stepped up accusations of Iranian support for Shia militias fighting American forces in Iraq. Washington is seeking a third round of UN sanctions against Iran over its refusal to stop uranium enrichment, and has accused the country of working on developing nuclear weapons in secret. Iran has said its nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes, such as generating electricity. France's prime minister, asked about the issue today, said Mr Kouchner had been right to warn of the possible dangers, but France was not advocating military action. "Everything must be done to avoid war," Françla;ois Fillon said. "France's role is to lead towards a peaceful solution to a situation that would be extremely dangerous for the rest of the world." At today's meeting in Vienna, Iran's vice-president warned the US and others against provoking a confrontation. Western nations had "proved that you cannot tolerate the addition of independent states and developing countries to the ongoing movement of those seeking to achieve ownership of modern technology", said Reza Aghazadeh, who also heads Iran's nuclear agency. "The great nation of Iran has recorded your discriminatory behaviour and performance in its memory and will not forget," he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. Separately, the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said he wanted peace and friendship with Washington, despite mounting speculation over possible US strikes. "Our message to the American nation is a message of peace, friendship, brotherhood and respect for humans," the official IRNA news agency quoted Mr Ahmadinejad as saying. The remark was aired on the state-owned Jame Jam television network yesterday. Mr Ahmadinejad called on the US to leave Iraq, saying its presence was proof Washington wanted to plunder Iraqi resources. The Iranian president is expected in New York next week to address the UN general assembly. The Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney today said the invitation should be revoked. Mr Ahmadinejad's regime "has spoken openly about wiping Israel off the map, has fuelled Hizbullah's terror campaign in the region and around the world and defied the world community in its pursuit of nuclear weapons," Mr Romney said in an open letter to the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. "If President Ahmadinejad sets foot in the United States, he should be handed an indictment under the genocide convention," Mr Romney said.