DUBAI, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Iran on Tuesday named Ali Bagheri Kani, a hardline senior diplomat, to replace Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, a seasoned pragmatist diplomat and chief negotiator in talks on Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, state media said.
LOYALTY OVER QUALIFICATIONS
New Islamic Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahyan begins reshuffle of diplomatic corps by appointing figures regarded as loyal to the hardcore Khamenei faction. More than 20 current ambassadors set to be replaced as loyalty becomes key test over expertise.
— Amir Taheri (@AmirTaheri4) September 14, 2021
Bagheri, who was named deputy foreign minister for political affairs, had been a senior negotiator in nuclear talks between Iran and the West under former hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from 2007 to 2013. He is a relative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Hossein Amirabdollahian, an anti-Western diplomat chosen as foreign minister last month, also named Mohammad Fathali as his deputy for administrative and financial affairs and Mehdi Safari as deputy for economic diplomacy, state media reported.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)