From December 1997 to November 2009 ElBaradai was Director of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), an inter-governmental organization under the UN that acts as the world’s center of cooperation in the nuclear field. The IAEA was set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. It works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.
In 2001, in response to 9/11, ElBaradei established a nuclear security programme to combat the risk of nuclear terrorism by assisting States in strengthening the physical protection of their nuclear and radioactive material and installations. The Nuclear Security Fund.
In 2003 he disputed the US rationale for the invasion of Iraq, based on inspections done by El Baradei and his team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq. In March of 2003 ElBaradei told the UN Security Council that documents purporting to show that Iraq had tried to acquire uranium from Niger were not authentic.
ElBaradei’s consistent approach of multilateralism and diplomacy first contributed to an agreement by Iran in November of 2004 to temporarily halt its nuclear program, though the issue has flared since and the work of the IAEA continues.
After stepping down from the IAEA, Dr. ElBaradei returned to Egypt, where he works for democratic reform. He has been mentioned as a possible Presidential candidate in his country in 2011.