Iran's hard-line gov't to remove 40 ambassadors

Iran's hard-line government announced Wednesday it is removing 40 ambassadors and senior diplomats from their posts, including supporters of warmer ties with the West, in a shakeup that comes as Iran is taking a more confrontational international stance. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced the changes to parliament, saying "the missions of more than 40 ambassadors and heads of Iranian diplomatic missions abroad will expire by the end of the year," which is March 20 under the Iranian calendar. Mottaki, quotes by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, did not specify which ambassadors were among those being removed. But IRNA said they include Iran's ambassador to London, Mohammad Hossein Adeli, one of Iran's top diplomats, considered a leading member of the pragmatic foreign policy wing that supports contacts with Europe and other countries.