Islamabad: The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has reportedly made the outgoing Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation, replacing a hardliner with a pragmatist to take charge of Tehran`snuclear programme.
Rouhani`s appointment of Salehi indicates the president`s intention to pursue a more flexible approach to Iran`s nuclear dispute with the West than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , Daily Times reports.
The report said that the chief of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) is not directly involved in nuclear negotiations with world powers but is in charge of operating Iran`s nuclear facilities.
Director of the non-proliferation and disarmament programme of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mark Fitzpatrick said that Salehi`s appointment was a wise decision by Rouhani because he understands how the world works.
Salehi will be replacing the position held earlier by Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani who survived an assassination attempt in Tehran in 2010 and Fitzpatrick said that the outgoing AEOI head, having survived an assassination attempt seemed unable to overcome bitterness toward the West.
The report added that Salehi, Iran`s foreign minister under Ahmadinejad from 2011 until Thursday when parliament approved his replacement, returns to his previous job as head of the AEOI.