Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What You Need to Know about Mohamed ElBaradei

Mohamed ElBaradei is emerging as a possible interim leader in Egypt, or as some other type of key transition organizer, if Hosni Mubarak steps down as President of Egypt.

He is a lawyer who earned a Bachelor's degree in law from the University of Cairo in 1962, followed by a DEA degree in International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and a PhD in International Law at the New York University School of Law in 1974.

Of note, ElBaradei served as the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Aagency and served in the position during  the Agency’s inspections in Iraq. ElBaradei early on warned that the the US rationale for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was false.
ElBaradei told the UN Security Council in March 2003 that documents purporting to show that Iraq had tried to acquire uranium from Niger were not authentic. ElBaradei was eventually proved correct on this point.

ElBaradei also described the U.S. invasion of Iraq as "a glaring example of how, in many cases, the use of force exacerbates the problem rather than solving it." He further said "we learned from Iraq that an inspection takes time, that we should be patient, that an inspection can, in fact, work," and that he had "been validated" in concluding that Saddam Hussein had not revived his nuclear weapons program.

The United States initially opposed ElBaradei's election to a third four-year term in 2005. In a May 2005 interview with the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Lawrence Wilkerson, the chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, charged former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton with an underhanded campaign to unseat ElBaradei.

The United States was the only country to oppose ElBaradei's reappointment and eventually failed to win enough support from other countries to oust ElBaradei. On June 9, 2005, after a meeting between then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and ElBaradei, the United States dropped its objections.

NYT's Roger Cohen interviewed ElBaradei in April 2009. He quoted ElBaradeias saying, “Israel would be utterly crazy to attack Iran." He said an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would "turn the region into a ball of fire and put Iran on a crash course for nuclear weapons with the support of the whole Muslim world.” ElBaradei has said the nuclear non-proliferation regime has "lost its legitimacy in the eyes of Arab public opinion because of the perceived double-standard" in relation to Israel's nuclear weapons program.

In an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel, ElBaradei said "I do not believe that the Iranians are actually producing nuclear weapons. [...] in general, the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran is overestimated, some even play it up intentionally."

In 2005, ElBaradei and the IAEA itself were announced as joint recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for their "efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy, for peaceful purposes, is used in the safest possible way". ElBaradei donated all his winnings to building orphanages in his home city of Cairo,

ElBaradei has two children. His son, Mostafa, is an IT manager who lives in Cairo. His daughter, Laila, lives in London with her husband Neil Pizey, who is an investment banker.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously ElBaradei is just another political terrorist if it "thinks" Iran is not trying to develope nuclear bombs. It is the ONLY way Iran can get Amerika to leave them alone and Iran will then be able to control ALL the oil out of the mideast. How does this sound? Great, huh?