AFP: Iran’s former top nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani is to meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana this week as part of a visit to Europe organised by a German foundation, his office said on Sunday. TEHRAN, Sept 16, 2007 (AFP) – Iran’s former top nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani is to meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana this week as part of a visit to Europe organised by a German foundation, his office said on Sunday.
Rowhani will be visiting in his capacity as the head of a key Iranian strategic think-tank run by the Expediency Council, an arbitration body led by pragmatic former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
The mid-ranking cleric, whose visit has been arranged by German foundation the Koerber Stiftung, will visit Germany on Wednesday before heading for Brussels on Thursday.
An official in Rowhani’s office told AFP that he would be meeting German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier and an advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel during his visit to Berlin.
“On Thursday he will be in Brussels and he will meet Mr Solana. He will also give a speech to European lawmakers,” said the official, who asked not to be named.
Rowhani was top nuclear negotiator under the reformist presidency of Mohammad Khatami to 2005 and sealed a deal with Solana and the European Union for Iran to suspend sensitive uranium enrichment operations.
After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president, the moderate Rowhani was replaced by Ali Larijani and Iran resumed its enrichment of uranium in defiance of the West.
As head of the Centre of Strategic Studies, Rowhani had kept a relatively low profile until now but has on occasion urged moderation in Iran’s nuclear standoff in contrast to Ahmadinejad’s more confrontational stance.
Rowhani’s deputy at the think-tank and the former spokesman of his nuclear team Hossein Moussavian was arrested in May for harming national security. He was later released on bail.