IAEA’s top nuclear inspector resigns

July 1st, 2010 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, July 1 (DPA) The chief nuclear inspector of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Olli Heinonen, is resigning after leading the probe of Iran’s nuclear programme for the past five years, an IAEA’s spokeswoman said Thursday.
Heinonen would leave the Vienna-based agency at the end of August for personal reasons, IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said. A successor has yet to be named.

The Finnish nuclear expert had been appointed by the previous IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, who was succeeded by Yukiya Amano late last year.

Even before Heinonen headed the nuclear safeguards department, he oversaw inspections in Iran from 2003 to 2005, when the IAEA began uncovering the country’s secret nuclear programme.

He also was involved in negotiating a return of IAEA inspectors to North Korea to monitor the closure of nuclear facilities that Pyongyang had agreed to as part of international negotiations. But the inspectors were kicked out in April last year.

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