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NEWS / Middle East

Iran to reappoint ex-oil minister to job

Bijan Zanganeh, who held post for eight years under reformist government, to be appointed again, according to reports.

Iranian president-elect Hassan Rouhani will nominate Bijan Zanganeh to return to the post of oil minister, which he held under Iran's reformist government from 1997 to 2005, Iran's ISNA news agency has said.

Quoting sources in Rouhani's office, it also said the moderate cleric, elected last month and due to be inaugurated on August 4, would nominate Mohammad Forouzandeh as head of the Supreme National Security Council, a position which would make him Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.

Forouzandeh is a former Revolutionary Guard, a current member of the Supreme National Security Council and head of a large and economically powerful state charitable foundation.

'Good communicator'

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations from 2002 to 2007, would become foreign minister, ISNA reported, citing a list of 17 nominations it said were the most likely choices based on information from Rouhani's office.

There was no official confirmation. Parliament must approve all the president's ministerial nominations.

As oil minister until president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to office in 2005, Zanganeh helped attract billions of dollars of foreign investment into Iran's oil and gas industry. He was seen as enjoying the support of supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

"He's a good communicator and respected within OPEC," an anonymous Gulf OPEC delegate told the Reuters news agency. "This is good news in terms of oil prices and market stability."

SOURCE: Reuters


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