Iran's Rouhani to nominate Zanganeh as oil minister: ISNA

Reuters News

7/29/2013 5:03:21 AM - Reuters News

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani will nominate Bijan Zanganeh to return to the post of oil minister which he held under Iran's reformist government from 1997 to 2005, Iran's ISNA news agency said on Monday.

Quoting sources in Rouhani's office, it also said the moderate cleric, elected last month and due to be inaugurated on August 4, would nominate Mohammad Forouzandeh as head of the Supreme National Security Council, a position which would make him Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.

Forouzandeh is a former Revolutionary Guard, a current member of the Supreme National Security Council and head of a large and economically powerful state charitable foundation.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations from 2002 to 2007, would become foreign minister, ISNA reported citing a list of 17 nominations it said were the most likely choices based on information from Rouhani's office.

There was no official confirmation. Parliament must approve all the president's ministerial nominations.

As oil minister until President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to office if 2005, Zanganeh helped attract billions of dollars of foreign investment into Iran's oil and gas industry. He was seen as enjoying the support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

"He's a good communicator and respected within OPEC," said a Gulf OPEC delegate. "This is good news in terms of oil prices and market stability."

(Reporting by Marcus George and Peg Mackey; Writing by Jon Hemming; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Elizabeth Piper)