Iran's Nuclear Negotiator Quits

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2007 8:58 AM CDT
Newly appointed Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security council, Saeed Jalili, is seen in this undated file photo in Tehran. The Iranian government announced Saturday that its top nuclear negotiator...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – 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.