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Salehi to head Iranian Atomic Energy Organization

MASHHAD, July 17 (Mehr News Agency) -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has appointed a new first vice president and a new director of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization.

During a cabinet session held in Mashhad on Thursday afternoon, the president appointed Ali-Akbar Salehi to be the new IAEO director and named Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii as the new first vice president.

Salehi, Iran's former ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, will replace Gholamreza Aqazadeh, who held the post for 12 years.

In an interview with the ISNA news agency published on Thursday, Aqazadeh said he had decided to resign.

Rahim-Mashaii is currently the director of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO).

Ahmadinejad made the cabinet level appointments as part of his plan to make a major reshuffle of the cabinet for his second term in office, which begins in August.

The president also appointed Samareh Hashemi to be his special assistant in the new administration. Hashemi acted as the president's senior advisor before he resigned to become the director of Ahmadinejad's campaign office for the June 12 presidential election.

According to the Constitution, only nominees for ministerial posts require parliamentary approval before taking up their posts.

... Payvand News - 07/18/09 ... --

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