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What about Iran?

From NBC's Andrea Mitchell

Not announced today was the appointment of Dennis Ross to lead a diplomatic initiative toward Iran and the rest of the region.

As the president was leaving the State Department ceremony, I asked him, "What about Iran?"

He answered on camera, "Andrea, this is not a press conference, but we will announce a comprehensive policy toward Iran in due course."

Other senior officials said Iran would be handled separately and Ross is still in line for a position -- although clearly less elevated than George Mitchell and John Negroponte.

After the speeches, Obama went along the front row, shaking hands with senior diplomats and many Obama and Clinton friends and supporters (George Stevens, Vernon Jordan, Holbrooke's wife Kati Marton) in the State Department's ceremonial room, reaching out, in particular, to Condi Rice's deputy Secretary of State and former head of intelligence, veteran ambassador Negroponte, and posing for pictures with Mitchell and his wife Heather, among others.

After the announcement of Mitchell's appointment to handle Middle East negotiations, Obama pointedly said that as part of a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, Gaza's borders must be opened. Public pressure on Israel was noticably absent during the Bush years.