Tehran: Ali Larijani, Tehran's leader in efforts to end a nuclear row with the West, has resigned as chief nuclear negotiator, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on Saturday.

Saeed Jalili, deputy foreign minister for European and American affairs, was expected to replace Larijani, IRNA reported.

Government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham was quoted as saying that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had accepted Larijani's resignation.

He said the change would not lead to a "new programme" by the council and that the new negotiator would meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana this week.

Some analysts have said Larijani had differences with Ahmadinejad over tactics in handling the atomic row.

However, analysts have said both oppose halting the nuclear programme.