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Rouhani's US-Educated Chief of Staff Knows East and West

Hassan Rouhani's chief of staff is a US-educated technocrat who is close to Iran's religious and merchant classes.
Mohammad Nahavandian, head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, looks on during an interview with Reuters in his office in Tehran February 20, 2010. Western-backed sanctions on Iran to crimp its disputed nuclear activities will not have the desired impact as the country increasingly turns to Asian and regional countries, Nahavandian said. To match interview IRAN-ECONOMY/SANCTIONS REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR2ALV8

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s first executive decree was to appoint Mohammad Nahavandian as his chief of staff. An economist by training, Nahavandian is a seasoned technocrat who has served his country as a senior bureaucrat for decades. His appointment indicates Rouhani’s commitment to improving the country’s weak economy.

Nahavandian is perhaps a model politician for Rouhani’s government of “wisdom and hope” — a moderate, religious-minded veteran technocrat, who, though educated abroad, is loyal to the aspirations of the Islamic Republic.

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