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Published: Monday, 12/13/2010

Iran's president fires foreign minister

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has fired his foreign minister and named the nuclear chief to serve as the country's acting top diplomat.

In a brief statement on the president's website Monday, Ahmadinejad thanked Manouchehr Mottaki for his more than five years of service but gave no explanation for change.

Over the past year, Iranian media have reported that lawmakers were pushing for Mottaki to be dismissed if more U.N. Security Council sanctions were imposed in response to the country's nuclear program. According to the reports, the lawmakers argued that he was not a strong or persuasive enough advocate for Iran on the international stage.

A fourth round of sanctions was imposed in June.

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