The Cable

Dibble to replace Limbert as State Department Iran official

Philo L. Dibble, a former longtime State Department official, will return to Foggy Bottom this fall to take over the Iran portfolio following the departure of John Limbert. A State Department spokesman confirmed that Dibble is expected to start in September as the deputy assistant secretary of state (DAS) covering Iran in the Bureau of ...

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Philo L. Dibble, a former longtime State Department official, will return to Foggy Bottom this fall to take over the Iran portfolio following the departure of John Limbert.

A State Department spokesman confirmed that Dibble is expected to start in September as the deputy assistant secretary of state (DAS) covering Iran in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA). According to his State Department bio, he was previously a DAS in NEA from 2003 to 2005, although he didn’t deal with Iran specifically. In March 2005, he moved to the Bureau of International Organization Affairs to be the principal DAS until he left government for personal reasons.

A career Foreign Service officer, Dibble has also served as director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs, deputy director of the Office of Egyptian and North African Affairs, special assistant in the office of the under secretary of state for economic, business, and agricultural affairs, financial economist in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, and Lebanon desk officer.

Meanwhile, Limbert’s last day, after nine months in the job, is tomorrow. He told Barbara Slavin for an article in Foreign Policy that he had promised to return to his teaching post at the U.S. Naval Academy for the fall semester. But he did suggest that he wasn’t happy with the current state of U.S.-Iran diplomacy.

“Here’s the problem,” Limbert said. “For 30 years, careers were made both here and in Tehran by how nasty you could be to the other side and how creative you could be in being nasty to the other side. So if you’re going to change that, what happens if it doesn’t get some immediate result? It’s very easy to slip back into what you always have been doing.”

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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