The Real Villain

Iran’s nuclear ambitions are making headline news around the world. No longer is Israel the only nation that is warning that the world will be a more dangerous place with a nuclear Iran. It seems that finally most of the world has caught up with this harsh reality. Hopefully, it is not too late.

The global debate is centering around a possible preemptive military strike by Israel (with or without the US) and the effectiveness of sanctions recently imposed on Iran. Some are blaming Israel’s leadership for being trigger happy and risking a conflagration of the whole region. Others are blaming Obama and European leaders for procrastinating for so long in the hope that diplomacy with the Ayatollahs will work.

Aside from the obvious villain (Iran), the global debate is missing out on the real villain in this sad story.


For twelve years (1997-2009), Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei headed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He was the watchdog that was supposed to warn the world about Iran’s intentions and push for harsher sanctions earlier. Instead, for twelve critical years, he lulled the world to sleep with muddied and noncommittal reports. This enabled Western leaders to ignore their responsibilities and do what politicians do best when confronted with hard decisions: nothing. In ElBaradei’s last speech at the IAEA he said he was “encouraged” by Obama’s initiative to engage Iran in direct dialogue “without preconditions and on the basis of mutual respect”. Is it any wonder both of these relentless champions of world peace received the Nobel Peace Prize (ElBaradei in 2005; Obama in 2009)?

Hopefully, history will judge ElBaradei and award him the shameful place he deserves for his role in allowing Iran to become a nuclear power.


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