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Is Iran’s Syria policy really about to shift?

Iranian officials have rejected suggestions that a staff reshuffle at the Foreign Ministry means the country’s regional policies are soon to change.

On June 19, Iran’s Foreign Ministry announced that its spokesman, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, would be replacing Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who in turn had been appointed adviser to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. It was also announced that Bahram Ghassemi would be the ministry's new spokesman and doubling as head of the Public and Media Diplomacy Center.

Ansari has a strong background in Arab affairs. Prior to serving as ambassador to Libya from 2005 to 2009, he had been Iran’s envoy to Syria. Moreover, before becoming spokesman in November 2015, Ansari had been the Foreign Ministry’s director general for Arab and African Affairs.

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