Iran nuclear chief has emergency surgery

Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's nuclear chief, has had successful emergency surgery for a perforated bowel

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Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, who has played a major role in recent talks with world powers, has had emergency surgery for a perforated bowel, state media reported Tuesday.

Doctors discovered the tear in the wall of his gut on Monday evening and operated on it successfully, state television quoted Health Minister Hassan Hashemi as saying.

“His condition is satisfactory and he should be discharged from hospital in a few days.”

As well as heading the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, the 66-year-old is also one of Iran’s vice presidents.

He holds a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and played a major role in the technical talks that helped pave the way for a framework nuclear deal with six major powers on April 2.

They included several rounds of talks with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who taught at MIT.

Further negotiations on the technical specifications of Iran’s scaled back enrichment of uranium to produce fuel for nuclear reactors will form a key part of efforts to finalize a full agreement by a June 30 deadline.

Such a deal aims to allay Western concerns that Iran could covertly develop a nuclear weapon.

The Islamic republic denies seeking the bomb and insists its nuclear program is for peaceful energy and medical purposes only.

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