Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Sep. 11 As the newly-installed government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues its complete overhaul of Irans bureaucratic juggernaut, a radical hard-liner has been named as the new chairman of the powerful foreign policy directorate of the Supreme National Security Council. Iran Focus
Tehran, Iran, Sep. 11 As the newly-installed government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues its complete overhaul of Irans bureaucratic juggernaut, a radical hard-liner has been named as the new chairman of the powerful foreign policy directorate of the Supreme National Security Council.
In his new position, Seyyed Ali Monfared will be the chief negotiator in Irans nuclear talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency and Western governments. He will replace Hossein Moussavian, a former ambassador to Germany.
The Supreme National Security Council is Irans highest decision-making body on security-related issues.
Monfared is a founding father of Irans notorious secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and was a senior officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
His appointment comes at a delicate time, when talks between Tehran and the European trio of Britain, France, and Germany, have stalled after Irans unilateral decision to end the suspension of its uranium conversion and enrichment activities. Western governments are pushing for the referral of Irans case to the United Nations Security Council.
Monfared was in charge of strategic foreign policy planning during the administration of Mohammad Khatami, but was dismissed at the end of Khatamis first term over policy differences. He has also been a staff member of the State Expediency Council, a body which mediates between parliament and the Guardian Council.
Monfared is not the only former Revolutionary Guards officer to enter Irans nuclear team; his new boss, Ali Larijani, was recently installed as the secretary general of the Supreme National Security Council. Larijani, a former general of the Revolutionary Guards, is a protégé of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
The Revolutionary Guards allies now dominate all key positions in the SNSC, making sure that the hard-line policies of the Supreme Leader will be carried through.
On Sunday, Irans new Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki vowed that the Islamic Republic would not suspend all of its nuclear fuel cycle, in particular its uranium conversion activity in Isfahan, central Iran.