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The Real ElBaradei Unleashed

October 7, 2009

The Real ElBaradei Unleashed

IBD: 6 Oct. 2009

Nuclear Proliferation: Watchdogs often bark loudest at those who pose no threat at all, such as the mailman. Mohamed ElBaradei, self-styled “nuclear watchdog,” is now barking at Israel.

The world will soon be seeing and hearing less from International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. Those seeking to spare Western cities from nuclear terrorism won’t miss the Egyptian career bureaucrat.

As former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton noted in his book, “Surrender Is Not An Option,” ElBaradei “made excuses for Iran,” as it progressed toward building nuclear weapons “the entire time I was in the Bush administration.”

According to Bolton, Nobel Peace Prize-winner ElBaradei “was constantly hunting for ‘moderates’ in Iran’s leadership who did not want to pursue nuclear weapons, a nonexistent group, in our judgment, and more interested in trying to cut a deal than in faithfully reporting what IAEA inspectors were telling him.”

As early as mid-April 2003, as Bolton pointed out, ElBaradei’s IAEA knew that the centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility contained uranium hexafluoride, a compound used to make nuclear weapons fuel.

In less than two months, ElBaradei will be replaced as IAEA director general by Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano. But as he packs up his office, is he giving the world a glimpse of the real motivations behind his softness toward Iran?

The Islamofascist regime in Tehran, with its illegitimately re-elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly denying the Nazi genocide of the Jews and calling for the destruction of Israel, is one of the last governments on the globe that should be allowed to have weapons of mass destruction.

Yet speaking on Sunday in Tehran, the setting for talks with Iranian officials regarding their atomic program, ElBaradei said, “Israel is the No. 1 threat to the Middle East, given the nuclear arms it possesses.” In a joint press conference with Ali Akbar Salehi, the chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, ElBaradei complained about Israel’s 30-year refusal to allow nuclear inspections.

Of at least equal note, ElBaradei also remarked that President Obama “has done some positive measures for the inspections to happen” on Israel’s nuclear plants.

What are we to take from that? Has the president asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow IAEA inspectors into his country, or is he pressing him to admit that Israel has nuclear weapons? Is the argument that by doing either Israel would be advancing the Mideast peace process?

Contrary to ElBaradei’s outrageous accusation and the president’s increasingly intimidating policy toward the Netanyahu government, the most effective catalyst for Mideast peace has, in fact, been the nuclear arming of Israel.

The routine wars between Israel and Arab states have stopped since Israel reached nuclear capability in 1967. And Egypt’s frequent tit-for-tat threats to build its own nukes, made under both Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat, fizzled out once the Jewish state actually possessed the bomb. Indeed, would the Camp David accords between Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin have been possible without a nuclear Israel?

Looking back on the past four decades, the Jewish state’s policy of refusing to confirm or deny its nuclear arsenal is, as the Old Testament proverb goes, a wisdom “more precious than rubies.” The only fully free, Westernized country in the Middle East has been able to let its surrounding enemies know that it will defend itself with the deadliest of force if its existence comes under direct threat.

And yet, despite its regional nuclear monopoly, Israel has refrained from using it on adversaries seeking its destruction.

In return for its restraint, as Netanyahu pointed out in his speech to the U.N. last month, “a democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot” — a reference to the condemnation of his country by another U.N. agency, the Human Rights Council.

The London Times reports that a secret section of the IAEA’s account on Iran warns that Tehran “may already have tested a detonation system small enough to fit into the warhead of a medium-range missile.” Is there much doubt that what ElBaradei really wants is a Muslim member of the nuclear weapons club to offset the Jewish one? As he departs, and not a moment too soon, it’s an outrage to hear the nuclear “watchdog” bark in the wrong direction.

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