- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 21, 2013

VIENNA — Iran’s envoy to the U.N.’s nuclear agency says he is to be replaced as of Sept. 1.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh told The Associated Press Wednesday that no replacement has been announced.

The decision to relieve Soltanieh as chief Iranian representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency is the latest in a series of personnel changes by centrist President Hasan Rouhani since he was sworn in earlier this month.

It comes less than a week after Rouhani named former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as head of Iran’s atomic energy organization. Salehi is considered more pragmatic than his predecessor.

Since becoming chief delegate eight years ago, Soltanieh has played a leading role in arguing that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and denying allegations that Tehran is interested in possessing atomic arms.

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