El-Baradei was 'too soft on Tehran', says WikiLeaks cable

London, Feb.10 (ANI): Former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed El-Baradei, now a key leader of the Egyptian opposition, was seen by both the United States and Israel as being too soft on Iran and becoming "part of the problem" in the Middle East, diplomatic cables leaked by the whistle blowing web site WikiLeaks have revealed.

According to The Telegraph, officials feared that El-Baradei was "just going through the motions" with Iran and was failing to investigate fully its suspected nuclear program.

In October 2007, officers from Israeli Defence Intelligence briefed US diplomats that El-Baradei saw himself as a "peacemaker" who was surrounded by staff who "do not wish to challenge him".

The Israeli official stressed that it would help if the US and other countries explained to El Baradei that he might embarrass the IAEA and undercut his legacy in the long run.

US officials harboured similar concerns.

In January 2009, El-Baradei admitted that, without a wider political agreement, the agency would be unable to inspect Iran and Syria's nuclear capabilities.

The cable states: "ElBaradei repeated his view that, while the IAEA will 'do its job' and 'go through the motions' in Iran and Syria, he did not believe either issue would progress except as part of a wider political package."

The US was unimpressed. The cable states: "Our diplomacy should remain geared to ensuring that others remain similarly engaged and that Board members make clear to the DG that he [El-Baradei] must do more than 'go through the motions'.

On both files, Syria in particular, we need to keep pounding the theme that the IAEA's institutional credibility is at stake.

During his tenure at the IAEA, El-Baradei, was seen as playing down fears that Iran was using the cover of civilian nuclear development to conceal more dangerous goals. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. (ANI)

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