Iran nuclear diplomat gets key post as head of foreign oil deals

DUBAI - Iran has appointed a backstage strategist in nuclear talks with world powers as chief of foreign petroleum contracts, the oil ministry said, a job that will hinge largely on any settlement of its atomic dispute with the West.
Amir-Hossein Zamaninia is a veteran diplomat who was sidelined under hardline former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before resurfacing as adviser on the nuclear negotiations revived by moderate President Hassan Rouhani.
Zamaninia will replace former Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Ali Majedi, who left three months ago to become ambassador to Germany, the ministry said on its website.
The US-educated Zamaninia will keep his present portfolio as adviser to the nuclear negotiating team, a post he also held under Ahmadinejad's predecessor, reformist president Mohammad Khatami, when Rouhani himself was the chief negotiator.
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