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Iran's Raisi showcases his cabinet of conservatives

i24NEWS - Reuters

clock 2 min read

President Ebrahim Raisi delivers a speech after taking his oath as president in a ceremony at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, August 5, 2021.
AP Photo/Vahid SalemiPresident Ebrahim Raisi delivers a speech after taking his oath as president in a ceremony at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, August 5, 2021.

Picks include interior minister connected to 1994 bombing of Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85

Iran’s new hardliner President, Ebrahim Raisi, presented his cabinet selection to parliament, state TV reports said. 

Showcasing a selection of conservatvie figures, Raisi’s nominations hint at the isolated nation’s likely policy direction in the coming years.

As foreign minister - one of the few positions in the cabinet beyond the president who generally become familiar to audiences outside of Iran - Raisi selected Hossein Amirabdollahian, seen as an anti-Western voice.

Amirabdollahian’s role will be crucial in the negotiations between Iran and Western powers over the former’s nuclear ambitions, which are scheduled to reconvene in Vienna now that Raisi is in office. 

The 56-year-old politician and diplomat served as deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs under former hard line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; who was known for his Holocaust denial and the violence that followed his disputed reelection in 2009, The Times of Israel reported.

Raisi also appointed Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as interior minister — a former defense minister who in 2010 was blacklisted by the US 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 of others.

Javad Owji, an ex-deputy oil minister and managing director of the state-run gas company, was selected to become the oil minister.

The cabinet selections are greenlit by the true ruler in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khameneia, and must in theory also be approved by the nation’s parliament. 

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