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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appointment of Dennis Ross as her special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia signals there will be no change in Washington's policy toward Teheran, Iran said Wednesday.
The position, will see Ross providing "strategic advice and perspective on the region; offer assessments and also act to ensure effective policy integration throughout the region; coordinate with senior officials in the development and formulation of new policy approaches; and participate, at the request of the secretary, in inter-agency activities related to the region," according to State Department spokesman Robert Wood.
Iranian state radio, however, reported that Ross is influenced by Israel and that he supports Israeli actions against Iran's nuclear program.
One US official said the title, an apparent euphemism for Iran, seemed an effort not to give the Iranian dimension too high a profile, apparently in order not to antagonize the Iranians, who have not hidden their antagonism toward Ross.
Earlier this year Iran's hardline Kayhan newspaper referred to Ross as a "pioneer of the American-Zionist lobby," and said his selection as a US envoy to the region would be an "insult."
Israel had no official reaction to the long-expected appointment of Ross, who is well known in Jerusalem from his days as former US president Bill Clinton's Middle East envoy.