Western policy in the Middle East has been a 'total failure' and risks creating a new generation of Islamic radicals, Mohammed ElBaradei says.
"Western policy towards this part of the world has been a total failure, in my view," the former International Atomic Energy Agency chief told The Guardian in his first English-language interview since leaving the UN post. "It has not been based on dialogue, understanding, supporting civil society and empowering people, but rather it's been based on supporting authoritarian systems as long as the oil keeps pumping."
The Egyptian ElBaradei said he sees increasing radicalization in the Middle East, adding that he understands the reason for it.
"People feel repressed by their own governments, they feel unfairly treated by the outside world," he said. "They wake up in the morning and who do they see – they see people being shot and killed, all Muslims from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Darfur."
ElBaradei was especially critical of Western governments over their support for regional tyrants.
"If you bet on individuals, instead of the people, you are going to fail. And western policy so far has been to bet on individuals, individuals who are not supported by their people and who are being discredited every day," he said. "The policy should be: 'We care about you, we care about your welfare, we care about your human rights.'"