Italian foreign minister to head to Iran next month
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Italian foreign minister to head to Iran next month

Paolo Gentiloni the latest to announce Tehran trip, after EU chief, French FM, Austrian president say they will visit

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (YouTube screen capture)
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (YouTube screen capture)

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni will go to Iran on August 4 and 5, his ministry confirmed on Friday, in the latest high-powered trip to Tehran following the July 14 nuclear deal.

Gentiloni had announced the visit and the dates in a tweet on July 17, but it remained unconfirmed until Friday “for security reasons,” the ministry said.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is to visit Iran next Wednesday, and EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini will visit Iran on Tuesday and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Their trip follow a similar visit by German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, the first senior Western official to visit Iran since the deal was struck.

Austrian President Heinz Fischer in September will make the first visit to Iran by a European head of state since 2004, his office said Thursday.

That visit will take place from September 7-9.

On Monday, the UN Security Council unanimously endorsed the historic deal, which restricts Iran’s nuclear program and clears a path towards lifting sanctions against its economy.

The accord has been touted as an opening for greater contact between Iran and the leading nations in other areas, especially on tackling the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

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