Iran appoints new Secretary of National Security, negotiator for nuclear talks D. Wes Rist at 12:49 PM ET
[JURIST] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [BBC profile, official website in Farsi] has appointed Ali Larijani [Wikipedia profile] as Secretary of Supreme National Security Council, a position that carries the responsibility of negotiating with European nations concerning Iran's continued insistence on refining uranium [IAEA backgrounder]. Larijani, former head of the state radio and television networks, will meet with representatives from Europe following Ahmadinejad's call for open talks [AP report] on Tehran's intention to refine uranium, a process that Iran claims it will use only for energy production, but which also yields material that can be used in the creation of nuclear weapons. European negotiators have expressed concern that Larijani is much more of a "hard-liner" than his predecessor cleric Hassan Rohani and are concerned that he will be unwilling to truly negotiate. The US has continually expressed its belief that Tehran's history of concealing portions of its nuclear program from International Atomic Energy Agency [official website] inspectors requires that Iran not be permitted to produce uranium domestically. Read the IRNA (Iran state news agency) official press release. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Iran [JURIST news archive]. AP has more.
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