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Zarif heads to New York for UN conference: IRNA

2019/07/13 | 20:44

(Iraq Now News)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to

New York on Saturday to a United Nations conference, Iran’s state news agency

IRNA reported, amid rising tension between Washington and Tehran.The United States and Iran are at loggerheads over Tehran’s

nuclear program, and Washington has blamed Iranian forces for attacks on oil

tankers in the Gulf region – a charge Tehran denies.The two nations came close to conflict last month when Iran

shot down a US drone, prompting Washington to order retaliatory air strikes

that were called off at the last minute.Zarif will attend a meeting of the UN Economic and Social

Council (ECOSOC) in New York and would then travel to Venezuela, Bolivia and

Nicaragua, IRNA reported.US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in June that

Washington would impose sanctions on top Iranian officials, including Zarif, a

step that could have impeded any diplomatic efforts to resolve their

disagreements.But two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on

Thursday the United States had decided not to impose sanctions on Zarif for

now, in a sign that Washington might be holding a door open for diplomacy.President Donald Trump withdrew the United States last year

from a 2015 accord between Iran and world powers that had aimed to curb

Tehran’s nuclear program.Washington has ratcheted up sanctions on Iran since then,

driving Iranian oil exports sharply lower.

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