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Iran FM tests positive for COVID at key moment for nuclear talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is seen before meeting with his Russian counterpart in Moscow, on October 6, 2021. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool/AFP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is seen before meeting with his Russian counterpart in Moscow, on October 6, 2021. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool/AFP)

Iran’s foreign minister has tested positive for COVID-19, local media reports, at a key moment in diplomatic efforts to revive a nuclear agreement with major powers.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian “tested positive today for coronavirus,” the Tasnim news agency reports.

The 57-year-old career diplomat, who was named foreign minister in August by ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi, was a close confidant of military strategist General Qassem Soleimani who was assassinated in a US drone strike early last year.

“His general health is satisfactory and he is continuing his daily duties from quarantine,” ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh tells the official IRNA news agency.

Khatibzadeh had said just Monday that talks with the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal would resume “in the next two or three weeks,” although he added that ministers would not take part.

The talks have been on hold since before Raisi’s election in June.

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