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Iranian President Sacks Foreign Minister

Source: RFE/RL

Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has fired Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki. In a brief statement on the president's website today, Ahmadinejad thanked Mottaki for his more than five years of service but gave no explanation for the change.

Ahmadinejad has appointed the country's top nuclear official, Ali Akbar Salehi, as the caretaker for the key position.

Mottaki, a career diplomat, was appointed to the post of foreign minister in August 2005. He is currently in Senegal on an official visit.

Iranian media have reported that lawmakers were pushing for Mottaki to be dismissed if more UN Security Council sanctions were imposed in response to the country's nuclear program.

According to the reports, the lawmakers argued that Mottaki was not a strong or persuasive enough advocate for Iran on the international stage.

A fourth round of UN sanctions was imposed in June.

compiled from agency reports

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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