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IAEA Head Appointed To Third Term

Muhammad el-Baradei (file photo) 26 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Muhammad el-Baradei was appointed today to a third term as director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The IAEA general conference approved el-Baradei's appointment unanimously, by acclamation, at the start of its plenary session today in Vienna.

He told the conference that "independence and impartiality will continue to guide" his work.

The IAEA Board of Governors in June chose el-Baradei to continue as agency head, after the United States dropped its opposition to him.

Washington had resisted a third four-year term for el-Baradei, saying two terms was long enough for running an international agency, but received no backing from other board members. El-Baradei has headed the United Nations nuclear agency since 1997.

Diplomats said el-Baradei had provoked Washington's anger by questioning U.S. intelligence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction under Saddam Hussein, and by not being tough enough on Iran, which the U.S. accuses of secretly developing nuclear weapons.

See also:

"El-Baradei Receives U.S. Backing For A Third Term"