Iran Replaces Deputy FM Who Negotiated 2015 Nuclear Deal With Hardliner

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Ali Bagheri in Moscow, 2012
Ali Bagheri in Moscow, 2012Credit: 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.

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.

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