West should close Iran's nuclear file, says new Iranian nuclear chief

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Nicosia, July 21 (ANI): Ali Ahbar Salehi, the man who was appointed by Iranian President Ahmadinejad as the new head of Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, has said that the West should end its hostility towards Tehran and close the nuclear file of the Islamic Republic.

"Legal and technical discussions about Iran's nuclear case have finished... and there is no room left to keep this case open," Salehi said in his first remarks since being appointed to head Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation.

The appointment of Salehi follows the sudden resignation of Gholam Aghazadeh, the man who for many years was responsible for Iran's nuclear programme.

Although no reasons were given for Aghazadeh resignation, it is believed that the fact that he is a friend of Hossein Mousavi, the man who claims that he, not Ahmadinejad, is the winner of the recent elections in Iran, certainly played a role.

Salehi is known as an open minded administrator and he was the one who signed the protocol with the IAEA in December 2003 which gave the UN agency a freer hand in inspecting Iran's nuclear sites.

He holds a doctorate in nuclear physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. He was also associate professor and chancellor of Sharif University of Technology in Tehran

Ahmadinejad's present government stopped applying that protocol, linked to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, in February 2006 shortly after Iran's nuclear programme was referred to the UN Security Council

The West fears that Iran has a covert plan to use the technology to make nuclear weapons but Tehran insists the technology will be used only for peaceful purposes. (ANI)

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