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Elliott Abrams, convicted of lying about Iran-Contra, named special representative for Iran

Brian Hook, the administration's special representative for Iran, is leaving and will be replaced by Elliott Abrams, convicted of misleading Congress about the Iran-Contra affair. Abrams, who has been serving as the special representative for Venezuela, will continue in that position in addition to his new role. 

He pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 1991 as a part of the Iran-Contra affair and was later pardoned by then-President George H.W. Bush. Abrams, who was assistant secretary of state at the time, admitted he had unlawfully withheld information from congressional committees in 1986 when he testified about the secret Contra supply network and his role in soliciting a $10 million contribution for anti-Sandinista rebels in Nicaragua. Abrams also served in the George W. Bush administration and was an advocate of the Iraq War.

Since then, Abrams has said his history with Iran-Contra isn't an issue

Hook has been a central figure in the administration's hardline stance against Iran, working closely with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, since he started the job in August 2018. His two-year tenure in the job is notable in an administration that sees frequent turnover at high-level positions. 

Abrams will assume the role after a "transition" period, according to the State Department. 

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