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Yukiya Amano Unanimously Re-elected UN Nuclear Agency Chief

Yukiya Amano has been unanimously re-elected Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Amano was re-elected "by acclamation" at the IAEA Board of Governors' first meeting of the year at the Agency's headquarters in Vienna, Board Chairman John Barrett said in a statement on Wednesday.

The 35-nation Board of the U.N. nuclear watchdog extended to Amano its congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of his re-appointment, the brief statement added.

The appointment is subject to the approval of the Agency's General Conference, which convenes for its next regular session in September.

If confirmed, he will assume a further term of office for four years, beginning December 1, 2013.

Amano, perceived to be the preferred candidate of the West, was first elected as world nuclear body chief in July, 2009 by contest. The unopposed election for a second term, is seen as a testament to the 65-year-old Japanese nuclear expert's success as IAEA head. Under Amano, the U.N. atomic agency has continued to conduct regular inspections on Iran's nuclear facilities, despite restricted access.

IAEA inspectors who visited Tehran last month for talks related to Iran's disputed nuclear program were denied access to the Parchin military facility, which the West believes was used for explosives testing related to setting off a nuclear weapon.

Amano had chaired the Agency's Board of Governors in 2005-06, and worked as Japan's envoy to the international organization in Vienna.

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