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Iran’s foreign minister pulls out of forum, averting chance meeting with U.S. officials

Iran’s foreign minister has canceled an expected appearance at next week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, organizers said Tuesday, citing the “backdrop of uncertainty” in the Middle East. The move averts a possible crossing-of-paths with top U.S. officials, including President Trump, in the Alpine town at a time when relations between Iran and the U.S. have hit a new low.

WEF President Borge Brende cited only the “cancellation” by Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was notably sanctioned by the Trump administration even before the new tensions. Brende declined to elaborate on the reasons for Zarif’s cancellation.

“We have to understand the cancellation against the backdrop of uncertainty in the region and what his happening in Iran,” he told reporters at WEF headquarters in Geneva at a look-ahead event to the 50th anniversary of the forum. All told, nearly 3,000 leaders from 118 countries are expected for the January 21-24 event.

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