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What to Expect In Iran’s Telecom Sector

Iran’s newly appointed minister of communications and information technology signals a chance for change in one of the largest non-oil sectors in the country.
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.

A statuette of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is displayed next to Apple iPhone 4S packaging at a shop window in Payetakht (Capital) computer centre in northern Tehran January 19, 2012. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS) - RTR2WILP

One of the surprises in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s proposed Cabinet has been the appointment of Mahmoud Vaezi as minister of communications and information technology. Vaezi, a former deputy foreign minister and head of the international division at the Center for Strategic Research (the think tank that Rouhani has presided over since the 1990s), seemed to be a more suitable candidate for a position related to foreign policy, but he has now been tasked with one of the most challenging ministries in the Iranian government. 

It is true that Vaezi has a degree in communications and was managing director of the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) between 1979 and 1986, but his experience relates to the time when the sector was mainly focused on fixed telephone lines. Today, in terms of the complexity of the economic, technical and security interests involved, the telecom sector is only second to the petroleum industry in Iran.

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