Iran’s New Low-Profile Ambassador to Damascus

Iranian media has reported that Javad Turk-Abadi will be Iran’s next ambassador to Damascus. “Turk-Abadi was chosen by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and this selection was approved by President Hassan Rouhani,” it was reported. It is said that he is a career diplomat with previous ambassadorship in the Sudan, Bahrain and in Nigeria. Very little else has been released about his appointment or any reasons behind its sudden announcement. Tehran's last ambassador to Damascus left Syria in October 2016.


Turk-Abadi is a low-profile career diplomat but his ties to the highest levels of the Iranian state are apparent. One of his first major diplomatic assignments came in early 1989 when he was dispatched to Kuwait as charge d’affaires. His selection at the time, given the troubled Iranian-Kuwaiti relations in that period, suggests that he has strong ties to the security and intelligence circles in the regime and is seen as a skilled operator.