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Iran's switch of top security official hints at end of nuclear talks

Tehran shifts focus to Arab reconciliation with eye on post-U.S. region

Ali Akbar Ahmadian, the new secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, left, is seen in this undated photo next to the late Iranian Major-General Qasem Soleimani.    © Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via Rueter

TEHRAN -- Just two months after Iran and Saudi Arabia resumed diplomatic relations, Tehran's chief architect of the rapprochement is out of his post.

Ali Shamkhani stepped down earlier this week as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, arguably the nation's most important decision-making organization on defense and national security policies. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi appointed Gen. Ali Akbar Ahmadian, a veteran of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as his replacement.

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