Iran's Raisi Presents New Ministers to Parliament, Iranian State Television Reports

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President Ebrahim Raisi, center, waves to journalists as he is surrounded by group of lawmakers after taking his oath as president at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, last week
President Ebrahim Raisi, center, waves to journalists as he is surrounded by group of lawmakers after taking his oath as president at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, last weekCredit: Vahid Salemi / AP

Iran's newly sworn-in President Ebrahim Raisi presented his cabinet to parliament for a vote of confidence on Wednesday, appointing a hardline diplomat as foreign minister to oversee negotiations with six powers to try to restore a 2015 nuclear deal.

The cabinet list, published on state media, shows Raisi has chosen Hossein Amirabdolahian as foreign minister and Javad Owji - a former deputy oil minister and managing director of the state-run National Iranian Gas Company - as oil minister.

Raisi also appointed Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as his interior minister — a former defense minister blacklisted by the U.S. in 2010 and wanted by Interpol over his alleged role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires. The attack killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.

The list will be announced officially on Saturday in parliament, according to state television broadcasters.

Iran and six world powers have been in talks since April 9 to revive Iran's nuclear pact that was abandoned three years ago by the United States, when the previous Trump administration also reimposed sanctions that have devastated Tehran's economy by squeezing its oil exports.

The sixth round of the talks in Vienna were held on June 20, with Iranian and Western officials saying major gaps still remain to bring back Tehran and Washington into full compliance with the pact.

In reaction to Trump's "maximum pressure", Tehran has violated limits of the pact, under which Iran had agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions.

AP contributed to this report.

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