Iran on Sunday confirmed it's former chief nuclear negotiator
Ali Larijani would attend Tuesday's talks with EU foreign policy
chief in Rome, the state media reported.
"Larijani, due to the emphasis of the supreme leader and
president, will join Saeed Jalili (Larijani's successor) to attend
the talks with Solana," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali
Hosseini was quoted as saying at his weekly press conference.
"The appointment of Jalili as the new chief of the Supreme
National Security Council has been finalized," he said, adding "the
country's nuclear policy, approaches and objectives will not be
Iran's government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said on
Saturday that Larijani had resigned his post as the country's chief
nuclear negotiator because he wanted to focus on "other political
Elham also disclosed Jalii, a little known vice foreign minister
for European and American affairs, would take Larijani's place.
Some Western and local analysts believed Larijani quit due to
his different opinions with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on how to
deal with the West over Tehran's nuclear interests.
According to their point of view, Larijani was more committed to
a diplomatic solution over the disputed nuclear program while
Ahmadinejad did not favor talks with the West very much.
Larijani was appointed as the chief of Iran's Supreme National
Security Council in August, 2005, following President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad took his office.
He was believed to be close to Iran's supreme leader,
AyatollahAli Khamenei, and considered as an uncompromising official
on negotiations with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear
Iran has been under the accusations from the United States and
other Western nations, which believed that Tehran is developing a
nuclear weapon program under the guise of a civilian-use
Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful
purposes and voiced hope for talks to defuse the nuclear
(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2007)