Spiegel interviews the ultimate sock puppet

Read it. The reporter doesn’t even try to hide his exasperation and incredulity.

He’s the Rick Ellensburg to Khamenei’s Glenn Greenwald:

SPIEGEL: Iran is Hezbollah’s main source of funding. Many Middle East experts believe that Tehran’s mullah-led regime is behind the current escalation, hoping to use the situation to deflect attention from its nuclear program.

ElBaradei: I don’t know, but one thing is certain: Iran is an important regional power. And like it or not, it will be difficult to find a solution without entering into a dialogue with Tehran.

How odd that he’d steer a question about Iran’s culpability in terror towards including them in peace talks. How very, very odd.

Needless to say, he’s also a filthy liar:

SPIEGEL: But it was the Iranian regime that clearly lied and deceived the West in recent years when it came to its nuclear program. Doesn’t Tehran have to accept the offer without conditions and stop its uranium enrichment activities?

ElBaradei: There is no other choice. To our knowledge, however, the Iranians have not accelerated their nuclear research program, which would be a sign of their developing a nuclear program for military use.

The Guardian, March 24: “Iran speeds up nuclear programme as crisis talks bog down”
The Telegraph, April 30: “Iran claims nuclear project breakthrough”

No military use? He pulled Chris Charlier, one of his chief inspectors, off the case earlier this year when the mullahs complained that Charlier was actually trying to do his job. Die Welt interviewed Charlier — famously — last month. Quote, from Regime Change Iran’s translation:

Inside countless memos and work reports, Charlier notes the results of inspections and lists the tricks and deceptions of the Tehran rulers, which leads the inspectors in Vienna to a single conclusion: based on pieces of the puzzle gathered by Charlier, “Tehran is obviously making a bomb.”

The Spiegel reporter asked ElBaradei about Charlier’s removal. His response, essentially, was to shrug.

Finally, there’s this:

SPIEGEL: Is the threat of UN sanctions effective?

ElBaradei: We must be patient. A few weeks won’t make a difference. The issue is not Iran’s nuclear program, but regional security.

Robert Spencer begs to differ. He’s got August 22 circled on his calendar.