Pretty much as “expected earlier”:, there’s no consensus candidate for the next IAEA D-G. Not yet, anyhow.

About a week ago, Borzou Daraghi of the _LA Times_ — yeah, I’m on a big _LA Times_ kick lately for some reason — “summed it up pretty nicely”:,0,3259640.story:

Minty, a charismatic diplomat known for his outspokenness, has emerged as the favorite of developing countries. Most are sympathetic to Iran’s nuclear aspirations and suspicious of the West’s attempts to deny them nuclear technology while keeping its own weapons stockpiles untouched.

Amano, a low-key technocrat, has emerged as the West’s favored candidate for his commitment to restrict the agency’s duties to narrow technical issues and forgo the type of opinionated diplomatic mediation practiced by ElBaradei and his predecessor, Hans Blix.

“A great director-general is one who artfully navigates the politics of the situation to permit the IAEA to fulfill its technical mission,” said Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control expert at the New America Foundation. “I think (ElBaradei) has lost that sense of balance. His speeches now cover topics far outside the mandate of the IAEA, from missile defense to the Middle East peace process.”

(Do you think that “Nobel Peace Prize”: might have gone to his head a little? Not that his head was ever really that small.)

So now we’re waiting for a compromise candidate to emerge, but this could take awhile. In the meantime, here’s a “tidbit that David Crawford relates”: in today’s _WSJ_:

bq. In 2003, Mr. Minty, a political scientist, helped to broker an agreement with Iran that allowed the IAEA improved access to nuclear installations in Iran. In an interview, the 69-year-old Mr. Minty said the accord followed long conversations in Tehran. “There are no magical words,” he said. “Trust is more important.”

More when the white smoke goes up.

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