Iran's new president names US-educated businessman as his chief staff in his first appointment

  • Updated: August 4, 2013 - 1:40 AM

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's media says the new president has appointed a U.S.-educated businessman as his chief of staff, his first appointment after taking office.

A Sunday report by the official IRNA news agency says Hasan Rouhani named Mohammad Nahavandian, a 58-year-old businessman with a doctorate in economics from George Washington University in Washington.

Rouhani was elected in June and was endorsed by the country's Supreme Leader on Saturday, allowing him to begin acting as president. He will be sworn in later on Sunday.

In his speech Saturday, Rouhani said his top priority is to resolve economic problems. Nahavandian's appointment is seen as outreach to the private sector.

Iran's economy suffers from international sanctions over its controversial nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing weapons technology. Iran denies the charge.

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