Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is not going to attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Switzerland’s Davos this week because its agenda was changed, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
Speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday, Mousavi said Zarif was scheduled to attend the Davos meeting but they abruptly changed the schedule despite the primary planning and the official invitation.
Therefore, the top diplomat will not participate in the forum in Davos, the spokesman added.
Reuters last week reported that Zarif was no longer on the list of nearly 3,000 people due at the event, which is being held under the banner “Stakeholders for a Sustainable and Cohesive World”.
The cancellation of the visit came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US with Washington imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump has been trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.
Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans.