Iran criticizes Blair's appointment as ME envoy

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman on Sunday criticized the recent appointment of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as an international Mideast envoy, but expressed hope that his successor would relieve tensions between the two countries. Prime Minister Gordon Brown took office in Britain on Wednesday following 10 years of leadership by Blair, who is to work as the envoy to the Quartet of Mideast peace mediators, which includes the US, Russia, the UN and the EU. "He has not had a good record and reputation in the region," said spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini about Blair during his weekly press conference Sunday. "He cannot be a good choice and he is not able to have a positive impact on the current development of the Middle East."