Iran's state-run television says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has named a new head of the country's Supreme National Security Council, the agency that oversees Iran's nuclear policy.

The new nuclear chief, Ali Larijani, has served as an aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and is known as a hardline conservative. He is also a former head of Iranian state radio and television.

Mr. Larijani's appointment comes as Iran faces intense pressure to stop its nuclear activities or face the possibility of international sanctions. Some observers are concerned that he will take a tougher stance on Iran's nuclear ambitions

Iran resumed uranium conversion last week after rejecting a European Union proposal offering economic and political incentives in exchange for suspending nuclear fuel processing.

Iran insists its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

(Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.)