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Former Iran hostage crisis spokesman named as environmental vice president

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Masoomeh Ebtekar, who was one of the Iranian students who occupied the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and acted as the Iranian students' spokesman, has been appointed as vice-president in charge of environment affairs.

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has given a vice-presidency post to an environmental expert who once served as a spokeswoman for the hostage-takers at the U.S. Embassy after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, an adviser said.

The selection of Masoomeh Ebtekar as vice president for environmental affairs marks the second woman named to Rouhani’s panel of vice presidents.

Ebtekar was also vice president under reformist President Mohammad Khatami from 1997-2005.

Ebteker, who is fluent in English, was a main spokeswoman during the 444-day hostage standoff. She later served on the Tehran Municipal Council and became a respected scholar in environmental studies.

The official IRNA news agency also said Rouhani today named a former defense minister, Adm. Ali Shamkhani, to lead the Supreme National Security Council.

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