Dr Saleh Adebi. Photo: IRNA
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Dr Saleh Adebi, a Sunni Kurd from Sanandaj city, has been appointed as Iran's first ambassador to Vietnam and Cambodia, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Tuesday.
Adebi, who holds a PhD holder in Persian literature, said the Iranian government first offered him the position of ambassador to Australia, but later decided to send a diplomat of the Sunni Muslim faith to Cambodia and Vietnam due to the large number of Sunnis in those countries.
Iran's move to appoint a Sunni Kurd as an ambassador comes after President Hassan Rouhani promised to give minorities more positions in government.
Rouhani visited Sanandaj, the capital of Iranian Kurdistan, on July 26 in his first visit to the Kurdish-majority province since becoming president in 2013.
“Choosing Kurdistan province as the first place to visit right after the nuclear deal with the West shows the importance of Kurdistan and its people and their role in protecting Iran,” Rouhani told the press at the time.
Rouhani also vowed to improve Kurdistan province’s undeveloped infrastructure. He said 11 dams will be built within the next two years and promised to build new roads in the area.