Veteran Palestinian ambassador to Iran is replaced with his daughter

Salam Zawawi's appointment by President Mahmoud Abbas is met with criticism from Palestinians

Salam Al-Zawawi is sworn in as the Palestinian ambassador to Iran before President Mahmoud Abbas. (Credit: Thaer Ghaneim/WAFA)
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A Palestinian diplomat who was the country's ambassador to Iran for 40 years has been replaced – with his daughter.

The appointment of Salam Zawawi by President Mahmoud Abbas drew sarcastic comments and accusations of nepotism from many Palestinians.

She replaces Salah Zawawi, who was appointed as Palestine's envoy to Tehran in 1981.

“Salam Zawawi took the legal oath of office in front of the president of Palestine,” the country's official news agency reported.

The ceremony took place on Saturday in Amman, where Mr Abbas has a residence.

He frequently conducts official business from the Jordanian capital and meets foreign officials there for logistical reasons.

Izzadeen Ahmad, a Palestinian journalist, said that a “young” Mr Abbas made a "natural" move by appointing Ms Zawawi.

Mr Abbas is 86.

“It is natural that the son of an ambassador becomes an ambassador, and the son of a minister becomes a minister," Ahmad said.

Political commentator Yasser Al Zaahtra said the appointment would have been trivial “if it were not for the corruption of the Palestinian Authority".

Iran is a major backer of the militant Palestinian group Hamas, which took over Gaza after a civil war with Mr Abbas's Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in 2007.

When Ms Zawawi's father became ambassador to Tehran, Yasser Arafat was the head of the PLO.

"Have you seen more of a farce?" asked @meshhek, another Twitter user.

Updated: June 13, 2023, 11:28 AM