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Mahmoud Vaezi, Iranian Minister Responsible for Space, To Step Down

Iranian Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Mahmoud Vaezi. Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Iranian government minister responsible for the space portfolio has stated that he will step down before the start of President Hassan Rouhani’s second term.

Mahmoud Vaezi, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, has been responsible for Iran Space Agency activities as well as negotiations with Russia and other countries on the acquisition of Iran’s National Communications and National Remote Sensing satellites (NCS and NRSS respectively).

Born in 1952 and trained as an engineer in the United States, Vaezi has held a number of political and diplomatic positions in Iran. Prior to becoming the Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Vaezi was a political advisor to Hassan Rouhani during the 2013 presidential campaign, and for a while was thought to be a favourite to become Iran’s foreign minister. Vaezi has served as the Deputy Foreign Minister for European and North American affairs and as a Deputy of Foreign Policy and International Relations at Tehran’s Centre for Strategic Research.

Vaezi has also served as the Chairman and Managing Director of the Telecommunications Company of Iran and as First Deputy Minister of Post and Telecommunications.

Vaezi has spent considerable time in the United States where he obtained Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from Sacramento State University and San Jose State University, respectively, in California. Vaezi then went on to study for a Ph.D. in Telecommunications Engineering from Louisiana State University, but returned to Iran without completing that doctorate. Several years later, however, Vaezi earned a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Tehran University, and then a Ph.D. in the same field from Warsaw University in Poland.

As of publication of this report there has been no word from Tehran about who will replace Mahmoud Vaezi as Minister of Communications and Information Technology.

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