Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has appointed former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as vice-president and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).
On Thursday, Salehi, who will be replacing Fereydoun Abbasi, expressed hope that he would be able to successfully continue the path of his predecessors and fulfill the “heavy responsibility” of serving the country’s national interests by further boosting the achievements of the AEOI.
The organization’s main task will be to construct commercial nuclear plants to generate electricity and to build research reactors to produce radio medicines, Salehi said.
“The activities of this organization [AEOI] are completely peaceful and in line with the interests of the Iranian nation,” Salehi stated.
Salehi served as foreign minister under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from December 2010 to August 2013. He was also Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) between 1997 and 2005.
Moreover, he served as deputy secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) between 2007 and 2009 and head of the AEOI from 2009 to 2010.
Born in 1949, Salehi earned his Ph.D. degree in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977.