Friday, July 17, 2009

Iran names new head of atomic energy body

Reuters (17/7/2009) Iran's government has named a former envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog as new head of the country's Atomic Energy Organization after its head for 12 years resigned, Iranian media reported on Friday. The Organization leads a nuclear program that has put Tehran at odds with the West, which fears it is aimed at making bombs. Tehran says it is for peaceful power purposes. Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's former representative to the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, was named to replace Gholamreza Aghazadeh as head of the Atomic Energy Organization at a cabinet meeting late on Thursday... "Salehi's appointment is a positive signal to the West. Salehi is a logical and soft spoken person who is trusted by the IAEA," said the analyst, who asked not to be named... Ahmadinejad, who has signaled he will make changes in his next government that is expected to take office in August, has appointed a new first vice president, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, to replace Parviz Davoudi, Iranian media reported. Mashaie was previously one of at least seven vice presidents and in charge of a culture and tourism body. He came under fire last year for attending a ceremony that involved actions deemed insulting to the Koran, Islam's holy book. He also created a storm in 2008 by saying Iran was friendly even to the people of Israel, Iran's sworn foe. Ahmadinejad had said those comments by his vice-president were misrepresented... Click here for full story