VIENNA — For Mohammad ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, “a combination of ignorance and arrogance” under the Bush administration squandered countless diplomatic opportunities with Iran and so allowed it to forge ahead with its nuclear program.
Referring twice to former Vice President Dick Cheney as “Darth Vader,” ElBaradei told me in an interview that “U.S. policy consisted of two mantras — Iran should not have the knowledge and should not spin one single centrifuge. They kept saying, wait, Iran is not North Korea, it will buckle. That was absolutely a mistake.”