The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded this year's Peace Prize jointly to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its director, Mohamed ElBaradei. The committee in Oslo cited IAEA "efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure the safety of atomic energy when it is used for peaceful purposes." Mr. ElBaradei said the award will strengthen his resolve and those of his colleagues to continue efforts to halt the spread of nuclear arms.
World leaders and diplomats, including U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, praised the IAEA and Mr. ElBaradei for efforts to make the world safe. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called the award well-deserved and said the United States is committed to continuing work with the IAEA to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Ahead of the war in Iraq, Mr. ElBaradei unsuccessfully sought additional time to complete nuclear weapons inspections in that country, putting him in conflict with Washington.