Essential Reading to Understand The Headlines

Monday, January 31, 2011

Egyptian Mohamed Elbaradei In His Own Words: Views on the Muslim Brotherhood, Israel and the Iranian Nuclear Program

Most of us were surprised by the support which Elbaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood gave each other. It seems though that Elbaradei was pretty consistent of his views as regards this issue if we only cared to really listen and be concerned with his past interviews.

On the Muslim Brotherhood:
"The Muslim Brothers are described as allies of Osama bin Laden – total rubbish. They're conservative, it's true; they look inwards; but they are non-violent, they're not even trying to gain power. They have 20 percent of the seats in parliament, but they're not even recognised as a party – that's just a policy of putting your head in the sand. No, they have to be much more involved! They have great credibility because, with their excellent organisational structure, they do a lot for the basic needs of the people: health care, education, emergency assistance."
Source: Interview with Mohamed ElBaradei on Democracy in Egypt (June 30, 2010)

"...And they have been credible because they are the only ones helping the people in the street, when the government was not able. Second, even if they have extremists in the group, there are also the moderates. The head of their parliamentary faction, [Muhammed Saad al] Katatni has been here twice in my home. They have 20 percent of the parliament. The other secular parties have 1 percent."
Source: Interview with Mohamed ElBaradei by Janine Zacharia (April 10, 2010)

One must not escape as well his views as regards Israel and the Iranian Nuclear program which he should know very well because of his tenure as IAEA chief.

On Israel:
"...a government must come to power in Israel that respects the 1967 borders. That accepts that repression is no solution."

On the Iranian Nuclear Program:
"Tehran is working on technologies that make the construction of a bomb possible and it is on the path to becoming a virtual nuclear power. But I do not believe that the Iranians are actually producing nuclear weapons."

"...That is a status issue that is overrated by the West. It is a matter of prestige. The Iranians are showing the Arab world that technologically, they have caught up with the world's leading nations."
Source:  'This Is a Historical Moment for Egypt'