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    Iran's Zarif to Visit Norway on Thursday Amid Increased Tensions in Gulf Region

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will pay an official visit to Norway on Thursday in the wake of escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf region.

    Norway is the last stop of Zarif's tour to Scandinavian countries — the foreign minister has already visited Finland and Sweden.

    The tour aims to develop a dialogue on regional issues with the Scandinavian nations, which are active players in the Persian Gulf, according to Zarif.

    The Iranian top diplomat intends to visit several Asian countries after Scandinavia tour, which takes place ahead of the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

    Relations between Washington and Tehran have soured since the 2018 US withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, with the US subsequently re-imposing sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation.

    The move was followed by an escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf in which several tankers were attacked, prompting the United States to increase its military presence in the region. Iran later downed a US drone over the coastal area of Hormozgan, purportedly in its territorial waters, prompting threats by the United States.

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