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Malaysia dismisses IAEA envoy over Iran vote

Weeks after the Malaysian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency autonomously voted against an anti-Iran IAEA resolution, a diplomat says Kuala Lumpur stripped him of his post.

The envoy, Mohd Arshad Manzoor Hussain, who also held the rotating chair of the 35-member IAEA’s Board of Governors, was dismissed according to a diplomat familiar with his case.

The report comes as the Malaysian government has yet to confirm the move. When asked about the issue by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the Malaysian Ambassador to Vienna declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the diplomatic source added that the Malaysian government is likely to replace Arshad with a new ambassador who will also fill the position of the rotating chairman of the 35-member Board of Governor.

Earlier in December, Kuala Lumpur’s ambassador to the agency was summoned to explain his “no” vote to an IAEA resolution against Iran’s nuclear program as the vote “was not in line with Malaysian policies.”

The resolution called on Iran to stop all construction work at its new enrichment facility named Fordo and confirm there are no more nuclear sites that the agency must be aware of.

The Tehran government, however, rejected the resolution as politically-motivated and without any legal basis, arguing that Iran’s activities are not in breach of the nuclear pact.

Malaysia was one of the three countries along with Cuba and Venezuela that voted against the IAEA resolution.

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