ElBaradei, Mohamed

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

ElBaradei, Mohamed

Mohamed ElBaradei (ĕlbärä´dā), 1942–, Egyptian lawyer and United Nations diplomat, b. Cairo, grad. Univ. of Cairo (1962), New York Univ. School of Law (1974). He worked (1964–80) in the Egyptian diplomatic service, becoming special assistant to the foreign minister (1974–78). He headed the international law program at the UN Institute for Training and Research (1980–84), taught at New York Univ. (1981–87), and joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where he served as a senior official (1984–97) and as its director general (1997–2009). He oversaw the IAEA's shift from promoting the peaceful development of nuclear energy to also monitoring the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and pursued a careful and persistent but generally nonconfrontational approach to verifying nonproliferation treaty violations. He was criticized by the G. W. Bush administration when the IAEA would not, due to the lack of conclusive evidence, confirm the existence of alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and, later, an alleged nuclear weapons program in Iran. He shared the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize with the IAEA for their efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. ElBaradei returned to Egypt in 2010 to head the National Coalition for Change, an opposition group campaigning for democratic change, and in 2011 he was active in the protests that led to President Mubarak's resignation. Subsequently, he became a leader of the liberal opposition to the government of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi. After Morsi was ousted by the army in July, 2013, ElBaradei was named interim vice president for foreign relations, but he resigned after the military crushed pro-Morsi protest camps in August.

See his The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times (2011).

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