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A senior Iranian revolutionary guards commander targeted by international sanctions has taken over the presidency of Opec after he became Iran's oil minister on Wednesday.
Rostam Ghasemi, head of the Khatam al-Anbia military and industrial base, was one of four ministersnominated by president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to join his cabinet last week and approved by Iran's conservative-dominated parliament.
"The clever and decisive vote of Iranian MPs for engineer Ghasemi to become the oil minister is a meaningful and crucial response to the attacks against the guards from the west's media empire," said Ramedan Sharif, the head of the revolutionary guards public relations' unit, in quotes carried by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency.