FILE PHOTO: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sits for an interview with Reuters in New York, New York, U.S. April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
GENEVA (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was on his way to New York on Saturday to attend a United Nations conference, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said.
Zarif’s trip comes at a time of spiraling U.S.-Iranian tensions. The United States blames Iran for several recent attacks on oil tankers and the two foes came close to direct military conflict last month when Iran shot down a U.S. drone and President Donald Trump ordered retaliatory air strikes, only to call them off minutes before impact.
Trump withdrew the United States last year from big powers’ 2015 deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program. Washington has sharply tightened sanctions on Iran, which has responded by stepping up uranium enrichment beyond limits set by the deal.
Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Mark Heinrich