Another IAEA Loss of Legitimacy

As if the ongoing North Korea and Iran debacles aren’t enough, the IAEA and its unfit head Mohamed ElBaradei have provided yet more reason to doubt their legitimacy and incompetent:

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday that “Israel is number one threat to Middle East” with its nuclear arms, the official IRNA news agency reported. At a joint press conference with Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, ElBaradei brought Israel under spotlight and said that the Tel Aviv regime has refused to allow inspections into its nuclear installations for 30years, the report said.”Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses,” ElBaradei was quoted as saying.

Firstly, Iran being the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism and having a revolutionary government would be a seemingly obvious choice for biggest threat to the region. Second of all, Israel’s neighbors have had the opportunity to go nuclear for the past several decades. Some considered it, such as Egypt, but ultimately concluded it wasn’t necessary and understood Israel acquired them as a last resort due to its small geographic size and population. It a major reason the Egyptian program was shut down. Iraq attempted it but this author is not aware of any evidence linking Israel to that decision. Rather, given the nature of the Iraqi regime before 2003, its pursuit of a host of WMD and its belief that Iran (post 1979) was Iraq’s biggest threat, it again seems silly to argue tiny Israel is somehow the region’s largest threat.

About Chirol

Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol (1852 - 1929) was a journalist, prolific author, world historian, and British diplomat. He began his career as a foreign correspondent and later became editor of the London Times. After two decades as a journalist he joined Her Majesty's Foreign Ministry as a diplomat and was subsequently knighted for his distinguished service as a foreign affairs advisor. Additionally, he wrote a dozen books on foreign affairs including The Far Eastern Question (1896), Serbia and the Serbs (1914), The End of the Ottoman Empire (1920) and The Egyptian Problem (1921). He is generally credited with popularizing "Middle East" in reference to the Arabian Peninsula with his book The Middle Eastern Question (1903). "Chirol" is a US citizen and graduate student studying Defense and Strategic Studies and government contractor. As with the historical Chirol, he has traveled to over two dozen countries and lived abroad for many years. Chirol speaks English and German fluently with basic knowledge of manyl of others.
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2 Responses to Another IAEA Loss of Legitimacy

  1. ElBaradei’s term is up next month. It’s hard to say whether this is a “nothing to lose” intentional swipe at Israel specifically or if he’s using the traditional UN “pariah” to swipe at established nuke states in general. ElBaradei’s espoused accusations of hypocrisy against Western nuke powers seeking to limit proliferation in the past. Perhaps a measure of both?

    In any case it’s an irresponsible distraction from the current scrutiny of Iran’s program and as you lay out in your post, wholly contrary to the historical context of Israel’s alleged nuke program.

  2. MAF says:

    While personally not a big El Baradei fan for a variety of reasons, we must remember the context of this quote. El Baradei comes at this from the point of view of wanting to enforce and expand the Non-Proliferation Treaty and all the mechanisms used to make it work. Israel is viewed by some countries as a constant and direct affront to that treaty and to all efforts to keep other countries from going nuclear. You must remember that whoever the IAEA chief is has to work to make sure that countries as diverse as Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, et al continue to adhere to safeguards and control over nuclear material and not chase a bomb.

    If it means drawing attention to the fact that Israel is a nuclear weapons state, well, the IAEA is probably willing to suffer some bad press from Israeli supporters if it means keeping up credibility in the rest of the world. Other countries don’t have the enlightened view of Israel that the U.S. and others do. They just see a country that has not signed the NPT and is treated differently on the subject of nuclear weapons than any other non-weapons state on earth (rightly or wrongly – we all know why Israel got the bomb, but many people in other countries just don’t get it). These unenlightened nations see Israel as the beneficiary of a double-standard enforced by the U.S. hegemon, instead of the right-thinking view that Israel is a special case and others (i.e. Pakistan, India until recently, etc.) must be treated differently.

    As for the all-to-real and ugly state-sponsored terrorism of Iran, for some reason other states don’t understand that Israeli hit teams and car bomb teams are not state-sponsored terrorists, but defensive units. Until they gain that enlightenment, the IAEA is forced to walk this line to keep whatever credibility it can muster and allow access to the inspector teams that are needed to damp down the spread of nuclear weapons.

    Just a thought…