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US ex-deputy Iran envoy says he left post ‘due to sincere difference of opinion’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Former State Department Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy Richard Nephew testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, during a hearing on 'confronting threats from China.' (AP/Susan Walsh)
Former State Department Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy Richard Nephew testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, during a hearing on 'confronting threats from China.' (AP/Susan Walsh)

The Biden administration’s former deputy special envoy for Iran, Richard Nephew, says he stepped down from his post “due to a sincere difference of opinion concerning policy.”

Nephew left the post on December 6, with The Wall Street Journal subsequently reporting that he had sparred with Biden’s Iran envoy Rob Malley, who is viewed to take on more dovish views in Vienna — where world leaders are seeking to negotiate a joint US-Iran return to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal.

Nephew moved to another position in the State Department, but he now tweets that he has left that position as well.

“Although my views and record have been and continue to be mischaracterized by quite a few people, I do not intend to convey any further details at this time or in public, given the ongoing nature of discussions in Vienna,” he tweets.

“It was a privilege to serve in the US government again and for the Biden Administration specifically,” he writes. “I would be honored if considered for another role in government in the future but intend to return to academia.”

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