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Iran's Top Nuclear Negotiator Resigns

  • VOA News

Iran says its top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, has resigned.

Government spokesman Gholem Hussein Elham told Iran's official news agency (IRNA) on Saturday that Larijani resigned for personal reasons, and that he wants to devote time to other political activities.

Elham says Larijani had tried to resign repeatedly, and this time President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad finally accepted his resignation.

The spokesman says Larijani will be replaced by Saeed Jalili, a deputy minister for European and American affairs, and a close ally of the president.

Larijani had been scheduled to hold talks Tuesday in Rome with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. Officials say the talks will go ahead as planned, with Jalili representing Iran.

The United States and other Western countries accuse Iran of secretly trying to build a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the charge, saying its program is peaceful.

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