Iran's president still undecided on his nuclear negotiator

By REUTERS
August 20, 2013 13:14
1 minute read.

DUBAI - President Hassan Rouhani is still deciding who will lead talks with world powers on Iran's nuclear program, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, more than two months after the moderate cleric was elected.

Rouhani has signaled that Iran is willing to be more transparent over the program and take a less confrontational stance in negotiations with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, the so-called P5+1.

Although he has named his cabinet, Rouhani has yet to announce who will be the new head of the Supreme National Security Council, a figure who has also been chief negotiator in 10 years of the on-off nuclear talks.

The delay has led to speculation in Iranian media that Rouhani wants to transfer that role to the Foreign Ministry, traditionally a less hardline institution.

"In the past 10 years ... the negotiator has been the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council. This may change, Mr. Rouhani may decide to appoint someone else, maybe the foreign minister or anyone else that he deems necessary," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi told a news conference.

"We are still waiting for our president to announce which institution is charged with pursuing the nuclear negotiations and afterward to identify the negotiator and the nuclear team," Araqchi said.


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