Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei (born 1942, Egypt) is the Director General of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an inter-governmental organization under the auspices of the United Nations.
ElBaradei earned a Bachelor's degree in Law from the University of Cairo in 1962 and a Doctorate in International Law at the New York University School of Law in 1974. His diplomatic career began in 1964 in the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign affairs, where he served on two occasions in the Permanent Missions of Egypt to the United Nations in New York and Geneva. In 1980 he became a senior fellow in charge of the International Law Program at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.
Since 1984, ElBaradei has been a senior member of the IAEA Secretariat, holding a number of high-level positions. Before his current position of Director General, he has been the agency's legal adviser (1984 - 1993) and Assistant Director General for External Relations (1993 - 1997).
ElBaradei has served as the Director General for the IAEA for two terms since December 1, 1997, but the current US administration opposes his serving for a third term. According to the Washington Post  several intercepted phone calls concerning ElBaradei report that the Bush administration hopes to find information that helps removing ElBaradei as director of the IAEA. ElBaradei has questioned the U.S. rationale for the war in Iraq since the 2003 Iraq disarmament crisis, when he, along with Hans Blix, led a team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, seeking evidence of weapons of mass destruction. He also stands for a more lenient approach in dealing with Iran's nuclear program.
Ten days before the 2004 US presidential election, a query by ElBaradei about 377 tons of missing explosives in Iraq surfaced in what many Right-ing pundits are claiming is an "October surprise".
On January 25, 2007 ElBaradei expressed opposition to a military attack on Iran: "It would be absolutely counterproductive and encourage it to develop a nuclear bomb." Source: Stella Dawson. "IAEA Chief Says Attack on Iran Would Be Catastrophe." Reuters. January 25, 2007.
- Speaking in Riyadh on April 12, 2007, ElBaradei offered a more realistic assessemnt of the Iranian nuclear weapons potential: "Iran is still just at the beginning stages in setting up its Natanz enrichment facility. The talk of building a facility with 50,000 centrifuges is just at the beginning, and it is (currently) only in the hundreds...It has not been demonstrated until now that there are underground nuclear facilities in Iran working covertly, and Iran doesn't have the material that can be used to make a nuclear weapon." Source: Donna Abu-Nasr. "UN Nuke Chief: Iran's Program Limited." Associated Press. April 12, 2007. News Report