Larijani appointed Iran's new nuclear negotiator

15th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 August 2005, TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed Monday ultraconservative Ali Larijani as head of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and new chief nuclear negotiator, the news network Khabar reported.

15 August 2005

TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed Monday ultraconservative Ali Larijani as head of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and new chief nuclear negotiator, the news network Khabar reported.

In his appointment letter, Ahmadinejad called on Larijani to take "correct decisions which secure both the interests and legal rights of the nation". There was no further elaboration.

Iran considers pursuing nuclear technology as its legal right, especially as signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the additional protocol of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In an interview with Khabar Monday, outgoing Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said that last Thursday's IAEA resolution - calling on Iran to close down the Isfahan nuclear plant - had been a political misuse of an international organization.

"The IAEA is in charge of taking care that all member states respect the NPT, not of depriving member states of nuclear activities for political reasons," Kharrazi said.

Kharrazi further said Iran was willing to continue negotiations with the European Union trio of Britain, France and Germany in order not to allow Iran's case to be sent to the United Nations Security Council.

He however said Iran was courageous, not afraid of threats or sanctions and was determined to gain its legitimate right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology.

In both positions as SNSC head and chief nuclear negotiator, the 48-year-old Larijani will succeed the moderate Hassan Rowhani, who had tried in the last two years to reach a compromise with the European Union in the nuclear dispute.

Along with the designated foreign minister, Manuchehr Mottaki, Larijani will be the main Iranian officials in charge of future nuclear negotiations with the E.U. and also form the new nuclear delegation team.

Larijani supports resuming nuclear activities and has in the past been critical of negotiations with the E.U. and opposes any compromise in the dispute.

Born in Tehran in 1957, Larijani graduated in mathematics and computer sciences and later gained a PhD in western philosophy.

Larijani was head of Iran's state television network IRIB from 1994-2004, and earlier served as minister of culture under former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani.

As the conservative faction's main candidate, Larijani gained less than 6 per cent in last Junes presidential elections and failed to reach the second round.

After Ahmadinejad's landslide election victory over the ultra- conservative Abadgaran party, Larijani was one of the first officials to be invited to aid him during his four-year tenure.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Iranian students plan Tuesday in Isfahan to protest against the IAEA resolution and form a human chain around the uranium conversion plant in the central Iranian city.

DPA

Subject: German news

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