By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Hassan Rohani, the new president of Iran, is putting his cabinet together.
Rohani assumed office on August 3. He has been touted as a more open and more liberal leader than Ahmadinejad. He has publicly made statements that repudiate the stands taken by his predecessor - especially on foreign affairs and sanctions.
Rohani has already appointed the new head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization. It is a position that the new president knows well, it is a position that he once occupied.
The newly appointed head is Ali Akbar Salehi, he is the former foreign minister of Iran and he is perfect for this position.
Salehi will not function as the nuclear negotiator, rather, he is the representative of Iran to all international nuclear organizations and it is he who will be setting the tone on all nuclear issues. Most importantly, he is in charge of all of Iranian nuclear facilities.
Like Rohani, Selehi is considered to be a pragmatic leader and a diplomat, not an extremist like the former head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Abasi Davani who was a perfect fit for the Ahmadinejad model.
This is not a new Iran, do not be misled. It is instead a slightly altered Iran.
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