Iran's deputy head of Supreme National Security Council resigns




By Xinhua

Tehran : The deputy head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli, has resigned his post, local Mehr news agency reported on Monday.

Saeed Jalili, the council's chief and Iran's top nuclear negotiator, accepted Rahmani-Fazli's resignation but did not appoint his successor yet, Mehr said.

No reason was mentioned in the report for the resignation of Rahmani-Fazli, who had been the SNSC's deputy head for cultural, social and media affairs.

Rahmani-Fazli's resignation came just one month after the replacement of former SNSC chief Ali Larijani.

Iran's government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said on Oct. 20 that Larijani had resigned his post as SNSC chief and the country's top nuclear negotiator because he wanted to focus on "other political activities."

Jalili, who had been a little-known deputy foreign minister for European and American affairs, took Larijani's place.

Some Western and local analysts believed Larijani quit due to his different opinions with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on how to deal with the West over Tehran's nuclear interests.

According to their point of view, Larijani was more committed to a diplomatic solution over the disputed nuclear program while Ahmadinejad did not favor talks with the West very much.

Larijani was appointed as Iran's SNSC chief in August, 2005, following Ahmadinejad took his office.

Iran has been under the accusations from the United States and other Western nations, which believed that Tehran is developing a nuclear weapon program under the guise of a civilian-use program.

Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and voiced hope for unconditional talks to defuse the nuclear standoff.