ElBareidi and Ahmadinejad
ElBareidi and AhmadinejadIsrael news photo montage

Mohammed ElBaradei, the hero of the Egyptian protest movement, is nothing more than a stooge for Iran, according to Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-president of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations.

Iran has praised the anti-Mubarak movement, but is not known to be behind it. However, the Islamic Republic has sent terrorists to stage attacks in Egypt at least three times in recent years.

"A myth is being created that ElBaradei is a human rights activist – he is a stooge of Iran," Hoenlein said in an interview with Yeshiva World News. “When was the head of the [nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency] IAEA, for which he got a Nobel Prize, he distorted reports…and covered for Iran. After he left, his successors said earlier reports were not accurate.”

ElBaradei maintained that Iran’s nuclear development is for civilian purposes, and he fought against Western-backed sanctions against the Iranian Republic. His criticism of Iran was limited to its lack of cooperating with the UN agency while insisting that diplomatic engagement with Iran was the best way to promote a willingness to allow inspections of nuclear sites.

He has not lived in Egypt for years, but retuned last year after serving three term as head of the IAEA. ElBaradei has encouraged the protest movement, which has established him as its hero.

The radical Muslim Brotherhood movement, officially outlawed in Egypt, has stepped in to back ElBaradei to replace Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Hoenlein said the Muslim Brotherhood is “not in front of the protests [in Egypt] but is behind the scenes. They take advantage of the situation, as they always do when there is instability.”

The American Jewish leader, whose group represents 51 Jewish organizations, also took aim at U.S. President Barack Obama, saying that his reaction to the protests and violence in Egypt shows he “does not know what position to take. This is something we knew was coming, and we should have been working on it.”