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Iran's FM spokesman resigns amid presidential bid

Sunday - 5/12/2013, 9:19am  ET

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's foreign ministry spokesman has stepped down after joining the race for next month's presidential election.

A report by the semiofficial Mehr news agency says Ramin Mehmanparast resigned from the post. It gave no reason, but the report late Saturday came just hours after the deadline to register for the June 14 election to succeed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mehr says Mehmanparast will be replaced by Abbas Araghchi, a member of Iran's nuclear negotiators team. Araghchi also continue his current job as deputy foreign minister in charge of Asia and Oceania.

The 50-year-old, British-educated Araghchi served as Iran's ambassador to Japan in 2008-11.

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