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ElBaradei Wins Nobel Peace Prize

October 09, 2005|From Associated Press

VIENNA — Mohamed ElBaradei prides himself on remaining cool under pressure, but he showed unusual flashes of emotion on learning Friday that he and his International Atomic Energy Agency had won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

His eyes misted as he spoke with reporters about the delight -- and surprise -- he felt when he heard on television that he and the U.N. nuclear watchdog he heads had been picked to share the prestigious award.

"This came as an absolute surprise to me," the austere, 63-year-old Egyptian said. "I was just on my feet with my wife, hugging and kissing and full of joy and full of pride."

The Nobel endorsement has particular resonance for ElBaradei, strengthening him in a job he nearly lost because of a dispute with the United States over what the Bush administration regarded as ElBaradei's failure to take tough stands on Iraq and Iran. His winning, he suggested, vindicated his methods and goals: using diplomacy rather than confrontation.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wished him well in a congratulatory phone call, but the administration opposed ElBaradei's reappointment this year.

The Nobel was viewed as a major boost for him and the IAEA.

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