Archive for the 'Simons Centre Analyses and Reports' Category

“Resignation of nuclear chief possibly part of wider effort against Ahmadinejad”

“Resignation of nuclear chief possibly part of wider effort against Ahmadinejad”
July 16-19, 2009
     Analysts believe the resignation of Gholam Reza Aghazadeh as chairman of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization was due to his opposition to the reelection of President Ahmadinejad. Although the reasons for his resignation are unknown, Aghazadeh, who led Iran’s rapid advances in nuclear technology for 12 years, is reportedly close to Ahmadinejad opponents Mir-Hossein Moussavi and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (Times Online, Christian Science Monitor). Some analysts believe Ahmadinejad may struggle to find officials willing to work with his controversially reelected government. Manal Lufti reports on “strong speculations” that Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki may also resign soon as part of an opposition effort to undermine the Ahmadinejad administration (Asharq Alawsat).
     In a statement, incoming IAEO head Ali Akbar Salehi, a former envoy to the IAEA, said that “legal and technical discussions about Iran’s nuclear case have finished” and called on “all sides” to resolve the issue (Xinhua). Although the IAEO does not lead Iran’s negotiations with other states, one analyst describes Salehi’s appointment as a “positive signal to the West”. Salehi signed the IAEA’s Additional Protocol in 2003, although Iran later withdrew its commitment to the protocol (Reuters). Others argue that only Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei can initiate changes in Iran’s nuclear policy (Al Jazeera).
Times Online | Christian Science Monitor | Asharq Alawsat | Xinhua | Reuters | Al Jazeera

Click here for an exclusive Simons Centre interview conducted in August 2008 with former IAEO head Gholam Reza Aghazadeh

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“Ahmadinejad camp continues attacks on Khatami administration”

“Ahmadinejad camp continues attacks on Khatami administration”
June 10, 2009, Simons Centre Report
     After five rounds of face-to-face debates held between the four presidential hopefuls and broadcast live on Iranian television, another debate is gaining momentum, this time between the political elite allied with each of the candidates. Mahmoud Va’ezi, Foreign Diplomacy Chief at the Center for Strategic Research (a subbranch of Iran’s Expediency Council, which is headed by former chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani) and a supporter of reformist candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, has rejected President Ahmadinejad’s criticism of the previous Khatami government[…]
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“Khatami, foreign relations at center of new election issue”

“Khatami, foreign relations at center of new election issue”
June 1, 2009, Simons Centre Report
     A visit to France in 2005 by former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has become a controversial issue in the presidential election campaign. The issue drew attention when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a televised campaign speech last week, accused his reformist predecessor of humiliating Iran by acting naively[…]
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“Candidates weigh in on nuclear issue, foreign policy”

“Candidates weigh in on nuclear issue, foreign policy”
May 29, 2009, Simons Centre Report
     With Iran’s former chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani challenging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the latter’s nuclear policies this week, Iran’s nuclear program continues to be a heated part of the presidential campaign debates. Rowhani told reporters on Wednesday that he was ready to hold a live television debate with Ahmadinejad in order to[…]
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