Interview: Mohamed ElBaradei

Former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Mohamed ElBaradei knows a thing or two about conflict resolution. During his efforts, he took on some of the world's most intransigent regimes, including Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, over their development of nuclear weapons -- and that's without mentioning perhaps his biggest antagonist of all: the administration of George W. Bush. But during his 12 years at the helm of the IAEA, ElBaradei also transformed the agency into a key player on some of the planet's most explosive issues -- and in 2005 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

Last December, ElBaradei dropped a bombshell: He was considering a run for the country's presidency in the upcoming 2011 election. The potential addition of a respected international figure to the presidential race threatens to weaken the grip on power held by Egypt's aging dictator, Hosni Mubarak. In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy, ElBaradei opens up about the state of a grand bargain between the United States and Iran on the nuclear issue, his conflicts with the Bush administration, and the conditions under which he will pursue the presidency. ElBaradei also discloses that he will be returning to his native country in the third week in February. The world will be watching closely to see if there are indeed second acts in Egyptian public life.

The above article was published in Foreign Policy on January 26th, 2010.

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