Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei, born June 17, 1942, is an Egyptian law scholar and diplomat. He was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an inter-governmental organisation under the auspices of the United Nations, from December 1997 to November 2009. ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei was also an important figure in the 2011 Egyptian protests which culminated in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak.
Family and personal life
ElBaradei was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. He was one of five children of Mostafa ElBaradei, an attorney who headed the Egyptian Bar Association and often found himself at odds with the regime of President Gamal Abdel Nasser. ElBaradei’s father was also a supporter of democratic rights in Egypt, supporting a free press and an independent judiciary.
ElBaradei is married to Aida El-Kachef, an early-childhood teacher. They have two children: a daughter, Laila, who is a lawyer living in London. They also have one granddaughter, Maya.
ElBaradei earned a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Cairo in 1962, a master’s degree in International law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and a J.S.D. in International Law at the New York University School of Law in 1974.
His diplomatic career began in 1964 in the Ministry of External Affairs, where he served in the Permanent Missions of Egypt to the United Nations in New York and in Geneva, in charge of political, legal, and arms-control issues. From 1974 to 1978, he was a special assistant to the foreign minister. In 1980, he became a senior fellow in charge of the International Law Program at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. From 1981 to 1987, he was also an adjunct professor of international law at the New York University School of Law.
In 1984, ElBaradei became a senior staff member of the IAEA Secretariat, serving as the agency’s legal adviser (1984 to 1993) and Assistant Director General for External Relations (1993 to 1997).
ElBaradei is currently a member of both the International Law Association and the American Society of International Law.
Public Career as IAEA Director General
ElBaradei began to serve as Director General of the IAEA, which is based in Vienna, on December 1, 1997, succeeding Hans Blix of Sweden. He was re-elected for two more four-year terms in 2001 and in 2005. His third and last term ended in November 2009. ElBaradei’s tenure has been marked by high-profile, non-proliferation issues, which include the inspections in Iraq preceding the March 2003 invasion and tensions over the nuclear program of Iran.
First term as Director General
After being appointed by the IAEA General Conference in 1997, ElBaradei said in his speech that, “for international organizations to enjoy the confidence and support of their members, they have to be responsive to [members’] needs; show concrete achievements; conduct their activities in a cost-effective manner; and respect a process of equitable representation, transparency, and open dialogue.”
ElBaradei’s first term ended in November 2001, just two months after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. These attacks made clear that more needed to be done to protect nuclear material and installations from theft or a terrorist attack. Consequently, ElBaradei established a nuclear security program to combat the risk of nuclear terrorism by assisting member states to strengthen the protection of their nuclear and radioactive material and installations, the Nuclear Security Fund.
Second term as Director General
One of the major issues during ElBaradei’s second term as the director general of the IAEA was the agency’s inspections in Iraq. ElBaradei disputed the U.S. rationale for the 2003 invasion of Iraq from the time of the 2002 Iraq disarmament crisis, when he, along with Hans Blix, led a team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq. 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 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 [solves] it.” ElBaradei further stated that “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.
In a 2004 op-ed piece on the dangers of nuclear proliferation, in the New York Times (February 12, 2004), ElBaradei stated that “[w]e must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction, yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security — and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use.” He went on to say “If the world does not change course, we risk self-destruction.”
Third and final term as Director General
The United States voiced opposition to his election to a third four-year term in 2005. In a May 2005 interview with the staff of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Lawrence Wilkerson, the chief of staff to former U.S. 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. “Mr. Bolton overstepped his bounds in his moves and gyrations to try to keep [ElBaradei] from being reappointed as [IAEA] head,” Wilkerson said. The Washington Post reported in December 2004 that the Bush administration had intercepted dozens of ElBaradei’s phone calls with Iranian diplomats and was scrutinizing them for evidence [that] they could use to force him out.
Despite of the lack of candidates competing for leadership of the agency at the time,the United States sought to convince the former Australian Foreign Minister AlexanderDowner to run for the position, but he refused. The US then seek to postpone the decision of the IAEA Board of Governors of the until the end of May 2005.
On June 9, 2005, after one short meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and ElBaradei, the United States dropped its all it’s objections on Elbaradei, which opened the way for the IAEA Board of Governors to approve his re-election on in June 2005.
ElBaradei was unanimously re-appointed by the IAEA board on June 13, 2005.
Update: ElBaradei is sitting on the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group
The International Crisis Group (ICG) is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization, with questionable ties and funding. The ICG mission is supposedly to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts around the world through field-based analyses and high-level advocacy.
But anyhow, what we are more concerned with is who is with him on the Board of Trustees. ElBaradie’s colleage in the Board of Trustees of ICG, and more importantly, on the the Executive Committee of the Board, is no other than George Soros, also known as “the Man Who Broke the Bank of England” after he made a reported $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crises.
Soros is a Jewish Billionaire and New World Order guru, and he is the man responsible for toppling the Governments of: Yugoslavia & who toppled Eduard Shevardnadze from the presidency of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia in November 2003. He also once had a small stake in the Carlyle Group.
Another member who was on the ICG board of trustees until very recently is Zbigniew Brzezinski, Obama’s controversial foreign policy advisory, and the same man who supervised the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979!
The list of trustees of the ICG on it’s official website states that: Mr. ElBaradei suspended his membership from the Board of Crisis Group concurrent with his January 2011 return to Egypt. Surprise, Surprise!!!
ElBaradei & the 2011 Egyptian revolution
While speaking at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government on April 27, 2010, ElBaradei joked that he is “looking for a job” and is seeking to be an “agent of change and an advocate for democracy” within Egyptian politics. He also made clear that his wife is not very enthusiastic about any potential run.
On January 27, 2011, ElBaradei returned to Egypt amid ongoing turmoil, with the largest mass protests in 30 years, which had begun two days earlier, on January 25, 2011. ElBaradei declared himself ready to lead a transitional government if that was the will of the nation, saying that, “If [people] want me to lead the transition, I will not let them down.” Subsequently, “when he joined protesters Friday after noon prayers, police fired water cannons at him and his supporters. They used batons to beat some of ElBaradei’s supporters, who surrounded him to protect him.” On January 28, 2011, ElBaradei was reported to have been placed under house arrest in Egypt. However, the next day, when he was interviewed by Al Jazeera, he said that he was unaware of any such arrest.
Later on, ElBaradei arrived in Tahrir Square to join thousands of other protesters against the Mubarak regime and spoke directly to the people, stating that they “have taken back [their] rights” and that they cannot go back. A number of Egyptian political movements have called on ElBaradei to form a transitional government. ElBaradei has also stated that “the people [of Egypt] want the regime to fall.” In response to the appointment of Omar Suleiman as the new vice president of Egypt, ElBaradei stated that it was a “hopeless, desperate attempt by Mubarak to stay in power. I think [that] it is loud and clear…that Mubarak has to leave today.” Additionally, ElBaradei restated his position that, when Egypt does become a democratic nation, “there is no reason to believe that a democracy in Egypt would not lead to a better relationship with the US based on respect and equity.”
The Guardian reported that ElBaradei has been mandated by the Muslim Brotherhood and four other opposition groups to negotiate an interim “national salvation government.” However, BBC reports that the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition party banned by Mubarak’s regime, has not consented to the choice of ElBaradei as the representative of the opposition. “The people have not appointed Mohamed ElBaradei to become a spokesman of them. The Muslim Brotherhood is much stronger than Mohamed ElBaradei as a person. And we do not agree [that he should represent] this movement. The movement is represented by itself, and it will [appoint] a committee. . .to [delegate its representatives].”
His appointment is controversial largely because of the long periods that he has spent outside the country. His appointment is seen as a recognition of the importance of various Western nations’ support of the revolts.
Possible presidential candidacy
ElBaradei’s name has been circulated by opposition groups since 2009 as a possible candidate to succeed President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt’s highest executive position.
ElBaradei did not make any clear statements regarding his intentions to run for the office; however, he has demanded that certain conditions be met to ensure fair elections accompanied by changes to the constitution that will allow more freedom for independent candidates before he would actually consider running for the presidency. Several opposition groups have endorsed him, considering him a neutral figure who could transition the country to greater democracy.
On February 24, 2010, ElBaradei met with several opposition leaders and notable intellectuals at his home in Cairo. The meeting was concluded with an announcement for the formation of a new non-party-political movement called the “National Association for Change.” The movement aims for general reforms in the political scene and mainly article 76 of the Egyptian constitution, which places restrictions on free presidential elections, especially when it comes to independent candidates. The banned political group, the Muslim Brotherhood, was represented at the meeting by one of its key figures; however, its stand in accepting a non-member of its group as a representative is yet unclear. It is also unknown whether Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League who met with ElBaradei a day earlier, will be part of the new movement.
On March 7th 2011 it was announced that Elbaradei intended to run for the presidential elections, this intention was later clearly stated in a live interview by ElBaradei to the ON TV channel March 10th, 2011.
CNN: Condoleezza Rice: U.S. may support el Baradei June 09, 2005
Wikipedia: Mohamed ElBaradei Profile
Wikipedia Arabic: Mohamed ElBaradei Profile
Wikipedia: 2011 Egyptian revolution
Wikipedia: National Association for Change