Head of State Department's energy office to step down

Carlos Pascual, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs for the U.S. Department of State, speaks during CERAWEEK in HoustonThe head of the State Department’s office in charge of energy diplomacy will step down in August after playing a key role in getting countries such as China, India and Japan to cooperate with Western sanctions on Iran, officials said on Friday. Carlos Pascual became an important player in Washington’s effort to place tough new sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear program soon after the bureau of energy resources was launched in 2011. The State Department said Pascual had decided to return to private life. The sanctions have halved Iran’s oil sales since mid-2012 in efforts by the Washington and the European Union to cut funding to the country’s nuclear program.

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