Iran Names New Nuclear Program Head


Iran’s former envoy to the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, will replace Gholamreza Aghazadeh as the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, reported Reuters.

Salehi obtained a doctorate degree in nuclear physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States and was also an associate professor and chancellor of Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, reported the Associated Press.

Aljazeera reported “Salehi is known as an open-minded administrator and was the person who signed a protocol with the IAEA in December 2003 which gave the UN agency a freer hand in inspecting Iran’s nuclear sites.”

Officials did not give a reason for the resignation of Aghazadeh, a long-time supporter of Mir Hossein Mousavi, a reformist opposition leader, reported the Associated Press.

The Associated Press reported that Mousavi claims to be the true winner of Iran’s “presidential elections and has called Ahmadinejad’s government illegitimate.”

It is unlikely, as the Associated Press reported, that Salehi will bring change to the nuclear policy in Iran, a policy that has kept Iran and the West on edge. The Associated Press also reported that there would most likely be no change since the head of Iran’s nuclear program isn’t “directly involved in negotiations, and ultimately all decisions on policy lie with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”

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