Iran General NewsNegotiator picked for post at State Dept.

Negotiator picked for post at State Dept.

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ImageNew York Times: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday appointed Dennis B. Ross, a seasoned Middle East negotiator under Republican and Democratic presidents, as her special adviser for the gulf and Southwest Asia, a portfolio that will include Iran.

The New York Times

By MARK LANDLER
Published: February 24, 2009

ImageWASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday appointed Dennis B. Ross, a seasoned Middle East negotiator under Republican and Democratic presidents, as her special adviser for the gulf and Southwest Asia, a portfolio that will include Iran.

Mr. Ross, whose appointment had been rumored for weeks, will provide Mrs. Clinton with “strategic advice and perspective on the region, offer assessments and also act to ensure effective policy integration throughout the region,” said the acting State Department spokesman, Robert A. Wood.

Mr. Ross’s appointment adds another prominent name to the ranks of special envoys, emissaries and advisers in the State Department. Former Senator George J. Mitchell, the special envoy for the Middle East, and Richard C. Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, have both returned from their first visits to their regions.

Unlike Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Holbrooke, who are presidential envoys, Mr. Ross will report exclusively to Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Ross, who advised President Obama during the campaign, has worked in the State Department and the Pentagon. But he is best known for his lengthy negotiations to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Mr. Ross had advocated a tough approach toward Iran that included persuading Europe to increase economic pressure on the government in Tehran. He is a co-founder of United Against Nuclear Iran, a group dedicated to stopping the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.

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