Iran's new top nuclear negotiator is scheduled to hold his first meeting with the EU's foreign policy chief over Teheran's contentious nuclear program on Tuesday in Rome.
Saeed Jalili, a little known diplomat, was appointed his country's chief negotiator after Ali Larijani stepped down this weekend. The departure of the moderate Larijani was seen as a victory of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that could push the Islamic Republic into an even more defiant position in its standoff with the West.
However, Larijani was set to attend the Rome talks Tuesday alongside Jalili and the EU's Javier Solana, according to Iran's Foreign Ministry. The talks had been scheduled before Larijani's replacement.