President Barack Obama has tapped a respected career diplomat to replace the departing top U.S. negotiator with Iran as third-in-command at the U.S. State Department. The White House announced that Obama would nominate Thomas Shannon to succeed Wendy Sherman as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Shannon joined the foreign service in 1984 and is the State Department’s counselor. He served previously as U.S. ambassador to Brazil and assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs as well as working at the National Security Council during former President George W. Bush’s first term. Sherman is a political appointee who led the administration’s nuclear talks with Iran. She announced in May that she would return to the private sector this summer. The Iran nuclear agreement was concluded in July.
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