ElBaradei 'says tried to prevent US erroneous war in Iraq'

ElBaradei will disclose details in his memoirs of conversations with U.S. officials who pushed for a war in Iraq that he fought in vain to prevent, the publisher said.

ElBaradei 'says tried to prevent US erroneous war in Iraq'

Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, will disclose details in his memoirs of conversations with U.S. officials who pushed for a war in Iraq that he fought in vain to prevent, the publisher said.

The book by ElBaradei is called "Crawling Away From Armageddon" and will be published in the fall of 2011 by Henry Holt and Co's Metropolitan Books.

The memoirs will be "rich with anecdotes from the center of the nuclear fray," Holt said in a statement.

It said ElBaradei will disclose discussions from before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 between U.N. weapons inspectors and senior members of former U.S. President George W. Bush's administration such as Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell.

ElBaradei, an Egyptian lawyer and diplomat who is now considered a potential candidate for Egypt's presidency, was at the helm of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for 12 years from 1997.

"No evidence on US claims"

Two weeks before the invasion, ElBaradei informed the U.N. Security Council he had found no evidence to support the Bush administration's claims that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had revived his weapons of mass destruction programs. He asked for more time to complete his investigation.

ElBaradei also told the council some of the intelligence the United States and Britain offered to support their claim that Saddam had revived a nuclear arms program dismantled by U.N. inspectors in the 1990s was based on forged documents.

Unable to move the council to back an invasion, the United States and Britain brushed aside the concerns raised by the IAEA chief and the other top U.N. weapons inspector, Hans Blix, launching their invasion to topple Saddam's government.

It was not long before it became clear that ElBaradei had been right and that U.S. and British intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs was erroneous.

Relations between the IAEA and the Bush administration deteriorated further.

John Bolton, a U.S. undersecretary of state eventually named by Bush as his ambassador to the United Nations, accused ElBaradei of being soft on Iran and its nuclear ambitions and led an unsuccessful campaign to prevent him from securing a third term in 2005 as the IAEA chief.

Diplomats and U.N. officials who know ElBaradei have told Reuters that he hopes to use his memoirs to shed some light on his conflicts with the Bush administration and his attempt to prevent a war in Iraq that he believes was a fiasco.

ElBaradei retired from the IAEA late last year and was succeeded by Yukio Amano of Japan.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Mart 2010, 08:22
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