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Larijani says resigned to facilitate management affairs

TEHRAN, Nov. 10 (Mehr News Agency) -- Former Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Larijani has said that his resignation was aimed at "facilitating management" and providing a situation so that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad would "enjoy a free hand."

Larijani resigned his post as the SNSC secretary and was replaced by Saeed Jalili last month.

However, the former security official said: "Currently, I don't want to talk about the reasons behind my resignation."

"Considering all aspects, I saw the country's expediency in letting the president enjoy a free hand," Larijani said in an interview with the Hamshahri newspaper published on Saturday.

He asserted that political posts should never be regarded as a "source of power," but as an opportunity to serve the country.

Larijani also revealed that the release of the Iranian diplomats detained by U.S. military in Iraq came due to his talks with Swiss officials in Tehran and Italian officials in Rome.

The Swiss embassy in Tehran represents the U.S. interest section in Iran.

Larijani stated that the detainees were expected to be freed earlier, and called for the immediate release of the other Iranian captives.

U.S. troops stormed the Iranian consulate in northern Kurdish city of Irbil on January 11 and arrested five diplomats under the pretext that they were fomenting violence in Iraq.

Two of the detainees were freed on Friday and returned to the country. The U.S. military also freed seven other Iranians who had gone to Iraq as pilgrims.

Commenting on the country's nuclear dossier, Supreme Leader's representative at the SNSC said a "right path" has been pursued in the nuclear issue and the modality plan has yielded desirable results.

The first achievement was the agreement reached between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency on an explicit timetable, and the second was that during this period the IAEA inspectors have visited Iran's nuclear installations in Natanz and Arak.

"They have even made unnoticed inspections," he explained.

Iran has taken many major steps in cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog and in this endeavor EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and especially IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei have played an important role, he stated.

Throughout the recent meetings, all the sides who were talked to, including Solana, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier praised Iran's dealings with the IAEA, he noted.

Despite unilateral actions of the U.S., other countries, such as Russia, China, and Germany have adopted rational stances, and this proves that Iran's initiative in resolving the issue has been logical, he added.

... Payvand News - 11/11/07 ... --

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