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Why was this influential Iranian deputy minister replaced?

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs since 2011, has been replaced.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, September 22, 2015. Amir-Abdollahian said on Tuesday his country had no troops or military advisers in Syria or Yemen, the RIA news agency reported. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev - RTX1RTQL

When Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to Norway and Germany to meet European and American officials last week, many Iran observers were surprised to see Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari in photos of the meetings. Then, on June 19, it became clear why Ansari had been so visible when it was announced that Ansari had been appointed deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs.

Ansari succeeded Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a well-known diplomat fluent in Arabic and English who had held the position since 2011. No reason was given for Ansari’s quick promotion — he had only been appointed spokesman in October.

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