Iran today appointed a key ally of Iranian President Ahmadinejad as Iran’s new nuclear negotiator just days before a crucial meeting with the EU.
An Iranian spokesman, “Gholam Hossein Elham, said a deputy foreign minister, Saeed Jalili, would replace Mr Larijani in time for a meeting on Tuesday with the European Union’s foreign policy head Javier Solana.”
Mr. Jalili, unlike his predecessor Ali Larijani, is a hard-liner. His appointment by the man who really holds control of Iran’s nuclear project, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, suggests an end to compromise….
From the BBC:
The resignation is a sign, says our correspondent, that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has thrown his weight behind President Ahmadinejad and his hard-line approach on the nuclear issue.
Although Mr Larijani is a conservative who was appointed by Mr Ahmadinejad to be Tehran’s point man on the nuclear issue, his successor is known to be a close ally of the president.
AP via MSNBC provides more background.
India-US relations have changed dramatically in the last few months. Russia and Iran have signed key energy deals with Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Bush’s feckless mismanagement of US policy in the Middle East has created a new landscape in which Iran and Russia are calling the shots.
The collapse of US soft-power weakens America’s ability to negotiate policy, much less issue dictates, as Mr. Bush is prone to do. The question of legacy looms large. For some there is little to discuss. Iran with the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons is ‘intolerable’. Iran seems determined to proceed with its nuclear program. Will President
Cheney Bush quietly slink off the stage or ‘impose his relevancy’ on us all. The stakes are growing and a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq, supported by Iran, could trigger a conflagration with Mr. Bush showing everyone once and for all who the ‘decider’ really is.