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Fact Sheets: Egyptian Presidential Elections - Mohamed ElBaradei

(Updated June 2012)

Mohamed ElBaradei served as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1997 to 2009, through which he won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomatic role in the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime. He continues to play a pivotal role in the ongoing Egyptian political crisis that began in January 2011 and is supported by multiple groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, as leader of the opposition to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government. The following is a sampling of his comments on Egypt, the United States, Israel, Iran and Nuclear Proliferation.

On The Muslim Brotherhood

“The Muslim Brotherhood, again, it’s one of these bogus fictions that have been created that they are after establishing an Iran-type religious state, that they are extremists, Al-Qaeda. The Muslim Brotherhood, you see them in the streets, they are religiously conservative but they are ready to work in a civil state context under a constitution which ensures equal rights and obligations.” – Wall Street Journal, February 2011

 “The Muslim Brotherhood are religiously conservative, they are in no way extremists they are in no way using violence…. You have to include them in the government like evangelical groups in the US, like orthodox Jews in Jerusalem.” – ABC, January 2011

“The Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do with extremism… I have been reaching out to them. We need to include them.” – CNN, January 2011

On Iran

“We wasted a lot of time with the Bush administration's ‘preconditions’ to negotiations, which said they would not negotiate unless they were given everything that was up for negotiation in advance of the negotiations.”– Huffington Post, August 2010

“I do not believe that the Iranians are actually producing nuclear weapons.” – Der Spiegel, July 2010

“In general, the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran is overestimated.” – Der Spiegel, July 2010

On Possibility of Peace between Israel and Palestinians

“We all know what that solution looks like -- the pre-67 borders, share Jerusalem, resettle the refugees. This is where it will be solved. Not by creating more insecurity, not by more humiliation.” – Huffington Post, August 2010

“We have been talking about peace for the past 20 years but no progress is witnessed in the Palestine cause.” – Palestinian Information Center, December 2010 

“A government must come to power in Israel that respects the 1967 borders.” – Der Spiegel, July 2010

On Israel’s Status as a Jewish State

“I'm not taking sides on that.” – JTA, February 2009

On Israeli Blockade and Policy in Gaza

“[The blockade is] a brand of shame on the forehead of every Arab, every Egyptian and every human being.”  -- Al Quds al Arabi, June 2010

“We must do all that we can to relieve the suffering of the people [in Gaza]. Open the borders, end the blockade!” – Der Spiegel, July 2010

“Repression is no solution.” – Der Spiegel, July 2010

“Right now... Gaza is the biggest prison in the world.” – Foreign Policy, February 2010

“Gaza is only getting 31 of the ‘essential items’ from the Israeli side, while they need thousands of items. They're not getting any construction materials. They received 41 truckloads of materials; the whole place is rubble.  That, to me, goes against the ‘responsibility to protect’, which was adopted with lots of fanfare in 2005 by all of the heads of state at the U.N. The need to separate your politics from humanitarian needs and from protection of civilians is a principle that was established a hundred years ago with the Hague Convention and the Geneva Conventions.” – Foreign Policy, February 2010

“The policy toward Gaza is a failure.  More than that, what message is this policy sending to the rest of the Arab world? Gaza went through one of the first democratic elections in the region.  And they are reduced to rubble and its population starving because of sharp policy disagreements between their elected representatives and Israel.” – Huffington Post, August 2010

“Above all, we need to halt the glaring breach of core principles of international law such as limitations on the unilateral use of force, proportionality in self-defense and the protection of civilians during hostilities in order to avoid a repeat of the civilian carnage in … Gaza.” -- Reuters, February 2009

On Israeli Attack on Syrian Reactor in 2007

“What the Israelis did was a violation of international law. If the Israelis and the Americans had information about an illegal nuclear facility, they should have notified us immediately.” – Der Spiegel, May 2009

On Egyptian Policy Towards Gaza

“I do see a major problem with [Egypt] continuing to be accomplices to those who humiliate the Palestinian people.” – Der Spiegel, July 2010

On Military Strike Against Iran

“It would be completely insane to attack Iran. It would transform the region into one big fireball, and the Iranians would begin immediately with a project to build the bomb.” – Der Spiegel, May 2009

“Confrontation… would lead absolutely to a disaster. I see no military solution. The only durable solution is through negotiations and inspections.” – CNN, October 2007

On US Foreign Policy

“They need to let go of Mubarak, they need to side with the people.” – CNN, January 2011

“America is really pushing Egypt and pushing the whole Arab world into radicalization with this inept policy of supporting repression.” – New York Times, January 2011

“What can you expect from [a Bush] administration that -- in a mixture of ignorance and arrogance -- passed over countless diplomatic opportunities to conduct a dialogue with Tehran? The entire Middle East was turned into a complete mess.” – Der Spiegel, May 2009

“The Americans thought they could threaten Iran with a big stick and force it to back down. But the arrogance of treating a country like Iran like a donkey led to a hardening of positions.” – Der Spiegel, May 2009

On Nuclear Non-Proliferation

“The U.S. government demands that other nations not possess nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, it is arming itself.” – Reuters, August 2003

“[Non-Proliferation] needs to start with the weapon states- the US, Russia- leading by example.  They haven’t been leading by example.  They have been continuing to send the messages… that are completely contrary to the commitment [made] in 1970 to move toward nuclear disarmament.” – Academy of Achievement, September 2010

“In truth there are no good or bad nuclear weapons. If we do not stop applying double standards we will end up with more nuclear weapons.” – Reuters, August 2003

 “Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses.” – IRNA News Agency, October 2009

“What compounds the problem is that the nuclear non-proliferation regime has lost its legitimacy in the eyes of Arab public opinion because of the perceived double-standards concerning Israel, the only state in the region outside the NPT and known to possess nuclear weapons.” – Reuters, February 2009