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IAEA chief Amano intends to step down: source

IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano is seen in Vienna in this Sept. 15, 2017 file photo. (Mainichi)

VIENNA (Kyodo) -- International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano has expressed his intention to step down, a diplomatic source said Wednesday.

Since last year, the 72-year-old has been in poor health. A former Japanese diplomat, Amano became the first Asian to be elected to the IAEA's top post in 2009 and is currently in his third term, which expires in 2021.

Amano is seeking an earlier departure, possibly in March, from the Vienna-based U.N. agency in charge of inspecting Iran's nuclear program, according to the source.

Currently, Amano is the only Japanese heading a U.N. body.

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