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One of the major issues during ElBaradei’s second term as the Director General of the IAEA was the Agency’s inspections in Iraq. ElBaradei disputed the US rationale for the 2003 invasion of Iraq from the time of the 2002 Iraq disarmament crisis, when he, along with Hans Blix, led a team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq. ElBaradei told the UN Security Council in March 2003 that documents purporting to show that Iraq had tried to acquire uranium from Niger were not authentic. ElBaradei described the U.S. invasion of Iraq as "a glaring example of how, in many cases, the use of force exacerbates the problem rather than solving it." ElBaradei further said "we learned from Iraq that an inspection takes time, that we should be patient, that an inspection can, in fact, work," and that he had "been validated" in concluding that Saddam Hussein had not revived his nuclear weapons program. In a 2004 op-ed piece on the dangers of nuclear proliferation, in the New York Times (February 12, 2004), ElBaradei stated "We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction, yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security - and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use." He went on to say "If the world does not change course, we risk self-destruction."
The United States initially voiced opposition to his election to a third four-year term in 2005. In a May 2005 interview with the staff of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Lawrence Wilkerson, the chief of staff to former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, charged former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton with an underhanded campaign to unseat ElBaradei. “Mr. Bolton overstepped his bounds in his moves and gyrations to try to keep [ElBaradei] from being reappointed as [IAEA] head,” Wilkerson said. The Washington Post reported in December 2004 that the Bush administration had intercepted dozens of ElBaradei’s phone calls with Iranian diplomats and was scrutinizing them for evidence they could use to force him out. IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky said the agency worked on "the assumption that one or more entities may be listening to our conversations". "It's not how we would prefer to work, but it is the reality. At the end of the day, we have nothing to hide," he said. Iran responded to the Washington Post reports by accusing the United States of violating international law in intercepting the communications.
"looking for a job" and is seeking to be an "agent of change and an advocate for democracy" within Egyptian politics. He also made clear that his wife is not very enthusiastic about any potential run.