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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 January, 2005, 12:12 GMT
ElBaradei bids for new IAEA term
By Bethany Bell
BBC News, Vienna

Mohamed ElBaradei
The Egyptian diplomat has frequently been in the spotlight
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Mohammed ElBaradei has emerged as the only candidate for the post of the agency's next director general.

Mr ElBaradei hopes to be re-elected for a third term, but the US does not want his mandate to be renewed.

Privately, some US officials have complained that Mr ElBaradei - who has held the post since 1997 - has been too soft on both Iran and Iraq.

He has led the International Atomic Energy Agency through turbulent times.


The deadline for nominations for the post of director general has passed, leaving the Egyptian diplomat as the only candidate.

Under his watch the agency has had to deal with several major international crises, fielding the UN's nuclear inspectors in Iraq during the run up to the war and coping with the rows over controversial atomic activities in North Korea and Iran.

Mr ElBaradei's re-election is by no means a fait accompli

Over the past year, Mr ElBaradei has also overseen the agency's investigations into the nuclear black market that was led by a Pakistani scientist.

But Mr ElBaradei's positions on Iraq and Iran have led to tensions with the United States.

The Americans have made it clear they don't want him to stand for a third term.

Now, although no other candidate has applied for the position, Mr ElBaradei's re-election is by no means a fait accompli.

The matter now has to be considered by the IAEA's board of governors who appoint a new head either by consensus or by a two-thirds majority vote.

In light of the US position, consultations could take several months.

Profile: Mohamed ElBaradei
01 Oct 04 |  Middle East
ElBaradei 'has nothing to hide'
13 Dec 04 |  Americas
IAEA mulls Iran atomic resolution
13 Sep 04 |  Middle East
Q&A: Iran's nuclear programme
07 Sep 04 |  Middle East

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