Iran's chief nuclear negotiator has resigned, the Iranian government said today, in a move seen as signaling a hardening of Tehran's nuclear stance. Ali Larijani was said to be more committed to finding a diplomatic resolution to Iran's nuclear standoff with the West than Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was replaced by Saeed Jalili, a little-known foreign deputy, the AP reports.
Larijani's resignation is interpreted as a sign that Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, now fully supports Ahmadinejad's hard-line nuclear posture, the BBC says. Given the inexperience of Larijani's successor and his close association with Ahmadinejad, it is expected his public views will largely be dictated by the president.