June 20, 2016


Why was influential Iranian deputy minister replaced? (Arash Karami,  June 20, 2016, Al Monitor)

Many conservative sites and newspapers appeared surprised by the sudden change.

Conservative Mashregh News wrote that Abdollahian is "the perfect example of a revolutionary diplomat" and that Iran needs more diplomats like him so that the country "is not taken for a ride at the negotiation table." The glowing profile of Abdollahian questioned why he was removed when "for the first time diplomatic discussions on Syria and Yemen have become serious."

The Mashregh article also said that regardless of the change, Iran would continue its "Islamic resistance." The article was not critical of Ansari, writing that he "undoubtedly has capabilities worthy of respect, which he was shown previously."

"Since the start of the Syrian crisis, Abdollahian had a key role in implementing Iran's diplomacy in Syria and a number of times participated in negotiations to resolve the Syrian crisis in place of the foreign minister," wrote Javan newspaper, which is linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The paper warned that replacing him could have "different external signals."

According to Javan, when the rumors of Abdollahian's replacement first surfaced in April, a newspaper close to Lebanon's March 14 movement, Mustaqbal, welcomed the news, saying "it was a positive step in strengthening the relationship with Arab [countries]." The Javan article said that Ansari "is more inclined toward negotiations with the Syrian opposition," and that before he had an official position within the Foreign Ministry, he had "implicitly criticized Iran's approach in Syria."

Only the hardliners--here and there--are surprised by Iran's rapid moderation anymore.

Posted by at June 20, 2016 7:07 PM