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Rouhani shakes up economic team ahead of sanctions

Iran has got a new Central Bank governor as the country is struggling to check a steep depreciation of the rial and root out a series of irregularities in its banking system.

Abdolnaser Hemmati, 61, replaced Valiollah Seif as the top Iranian banker following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Tasnim news agency reported.

Hemmati was a former instructor of economics at University of Tehran, before serving as the head of the Central Insurance of Iran, as well as Sina Bank and Bank Melli.

He had been named as Iran’s ambassador to China but his new post means the plan has been cancelled.

In his address to the cabinet Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani cited reform of the banking system, financial and monetary policies, and the improvement of banking relationships with the world as well as preserving foreign exchange reserves as the priorities of the new head of the Central Bank.

Rouhani described the new Central Bank’s head an educated and well-informed person, an experienced banker and insurer, with good manners, high spirits and strong capabilities, recommending all members of the government to cooperate with him.

The president also thanked Seif for his services, hailing him as a “very healthy and valuable manager who was seriously implementing all government policies.”

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