US grants visa to Iran’s Zarif for UN meeting this week: sources

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The United States has granted a visa to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to attend a UN meeting in New York this week, two sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday, saying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had approved the decision.

Had Pompeo not approved giving Zarif, Iran’s top diplomat and nuclear negotiator, a US visa it could have been a signal that the United States was trying to further isolate the Islamic Republic.

US-Iranian tensions have worsened in recent months since US President Donald Trump’s decision to try to halt Iran’s oil exports because of concerns about its nuclear and missile programs and regional activities.

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