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New Iranian leader picks minister wanted for Buenos Aires Jewish Center bombing

President Ebrahim Raisi, center, waves to journalists as he is surrounded by group of lawmakers after taking his oath as president at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
President Ebrahim Raisi, center, waves to journalists as he is surrounded by group of lawmakers after taking his oath as president at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, presents a Cabinet dominated by hardliners, state TV reports, providing one of the first glimpses into the policies he might pursue over the next four years.

The conservative cleric and former judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi, nominates hardline career diplomat Hossein Amirabollahian to the crucial post of foreign minister as Iran and the US seek to resuscitate Tehran’s landmark nuclear deal with world powers.

The Cabinet list, which offers few surprises, must still be confirmed by Iran’s parliament. The supreme leader also typically weighs in on picking officials for the most sensitive positions, such as foreign minister.

Amirabollahian, 56, has served in a range of administrations over the decades. He was deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs under former populist hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, known in the West for his Holocaust denial and disputed re-election in 2009.

Raisi also appoints Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as his interior minister — a former defense minister blacklisted by the US in 2010 and wanted by Interpol over his alleged role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.

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