Iran Diplomat at U.N. Atomic Body Likely Leaving

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 21, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

Ir­an ex­pects its long­time rep­res­ent­at­ive at the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency to leave the po­s­i­tion, though it is not clear who will re­place him, Re­u­ters re­por­ted on Wed­nes­day, cit­ing dip­lo­mat­ic sources.

The news of Ali Asghar Soltan­ieh’s likely near-term de­par­ture comes as the U.N. nuc­le­ar agency is prob­ing charges that Ir­an has con­duc­ted re­search that could sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of atom­ic weapons. Ir­an has denied the al­leg­a­tions, main­tain­ing that its nuc­le­ar ef­forts are en­tirely peace­ful. West­ern of­fi­cials, though, have charged that the coun­try has not co­oper­ated fully with in­quir­ies by the Vi­enna, Aus­tria-based or­gan­iz­a­tion.

Ir­an’s new pres­id­ent, Has­san Rouh­ani, last Fri­day named Ali Ak­bar Salehi, who has led Ir­an’s for­eign min­istry since 2011, to head the Ir­a­ni­an Atom­ic En­ergy Or­gan­iz­a­tion. Both Rouh­ani and Salehi are viewed by West­ern of­fi­cials as polit­ic­al mod­er­ates. The new pres­id­ent hopes to mend re­la­tions with oth­er na­tions and ease sanc­tions im­posed on Ir­an be­cause of its nuc­le­ar-de­vel­op­ment activ­it­ies.


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