Iran expects its longtime representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency to leave the position, though it is not clear who will replace him, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing diplomatic sources.
The news of Ali Asghar Soltanieh’s likely near-term departure comes as the U.N. nuclear agency is probing charges that Iran has conducted research that could support the development of atomic weapons. Iran has denied the allegations, maintaining that its nuclear efforts are entirely peaceful. Western officials, though, have charged that the country has not cooperated fully with inquiries by the Vienna, Austria-based organization.
Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, last Friday named Ali Akbar Salehi, who has led Iran’s foreign ministry since 2011, to head the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization. Both Rouhani and Salehi are viewed by Western officials as political moderates. The new president hopes to mend relations with other nations and ease sanctions imposed on Iran because of its nuclear-development activities.