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Iran's president delays Africa tour without elaboration

Iran's president delays Africa tour without elaboration
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana,   -  
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Mosa'ab Elshamy/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi did not depart on a three-nation tour to Africa as planned, state media reported without elaboration.

Raisi was supposed to travel from Tehran on Tuesday morning, but no Iranian news outlets reported him leaving.

The country’s media said repeatedly over the past week that the president planned to visit Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. State media did not elaborate on why he hadn't departed.

Kenya's foreign ministry said in a brief statement that the visit was delayed until Wednesday morning so key memoranda of understanding could be finalized “that are central to the furtherance of relations.” The statement said the presidents would have a bilateral meeting after Raisi arrived.

It would be unusual for Iran's president to call off a foreign trip, though domestic visits sometimes are canceled.

In 2018, Iran canceled a visit by Iraq’s then-prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, after he said he had no choice but to abide by renewed U.S. sanctions on Tehran even though he opposed them.

Iran's then-foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, reportedly canceled a trip to Italy amid tense nuclear talks, citing his tight schedule.

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