WASHINGTON (AFP) - Mohamed ElBaradei, the outgoing head of the UN atomic watchdog, called the threat from Iran hyped and said there was no evidence that the Islamic republic will soon have nuclear weapons. In an interview released Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief hit back at critics who accuse the Egyptian of covering up Irans nuclear ambitions. In many ways, I think the threat has been hyped, ElBaradei told the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a Chicago-based magazine critical of nuclear weapons. ElBaradei, who along with the IAEA as an institution won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, rejected the criticism. About Iran, Ive been told, 'Mind your own business; youre a technician. And yet, at other times, on other matters, I have been told that Im the custodian of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - sometimes by the very people who tell me to mind my own business when it comes to Iran, he said. I dont put much stock in either designation. Im neither a custodian nor a technician; Im merely someone who is trying to do his job, he said. ElBaradei voiced hope that Iran and the US would start dialogue, as proposed by US President Barack Obama, and also hoped for the resumption of talks with North Korea, which conducted a second nuclear test in May.