With the Iran nuclear deal expected to emerge intact this week from a grueling 60-day congressional review, the Barack Obama administration is preparing to unveil a new office for coordinating its implementation, to be led by outgoing US Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull.
The announcement of Mull’s appointment as US coordinator for the Iran nuclear deal implementation is expected to be made by Secretary of State John Kerry as early as Sept. 17 — the deadline for Congress to have sent a resolution of disapproval to the president, a move that was blocked by Senate Democrats — or shortly thereafter, US officials said. It is expected to come as the White House also announces the nomination of State Department Counselor Tom Shannon to succeed Wendy Sherman as undersecretary of state for political affairs, as Al-Monitor previously reported.
A veteran foreign service officer, Mull previously served as executive secretary of the State Department (2010-12), ambassador to Lithuania and, most critically, as senior adviser to then-Undersecretary of State William Burns (2008-10) when Burns was the lead US Iran nuclear negotiator and the United States was helping negotiate UN Security Council Resolution 1929 that sanctioned Iran over its nuclear program, among previous relevant assignments. (Mull was described by one former State Department colleague as “Burns’ right arm.”)
Mull, contacted by Al-Monitor, declined to comment on his anticipated new appointment before it is officially announced. His successor as US envoy to Poland, Paul Jones, was sworn in by Kerry at the State Department on Sept. 11.