Iran’s President Delays Africa Tour without Elaboration 

05 July 2023, Iran, Tehran: President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a cabinet meeting. (Iranian Presidency/dpa)
05 July 2023, Iran, Tehran: President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a cabinet meeting. (Iranian Presidency/dpa)
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Iran’s President Delays Africa Tour without Elaboration 

05 July 2023, Iran, Tehran: President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a cabinet meeting. (Iranian Presidency/dpa)
05 July 2023, Iran, Tehran: President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a cabinet meeting. (Iranian Presidency/dpa)

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, Haidar al-Abadi, after he said he had no choice but to abide by renewed US 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.



US Will Raise Pressure on Iran If It Does Not Cooperate with UN Watchdog

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller (AP)
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller (AP)
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US Will Raise Pressure on Iran If It Does Not Cooperate with UN Watchdog

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller (AP)
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller (AP)

The US State Department said Washington will continue to increase pressure on Iran if it does not cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.
In return, an Iranian official said his country will not bow to pressure.
“The report issued by the IAEA makes clear that Iran aims to continue expanding its nuclear program in ways that have no credible peaceful purpose,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said. “If Iran implements these plans, we will respond accordingly.”
Shamkhani Responds
Responding to the US position, Ali Shamkhani, the advisor of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, wrote on the social platform X that Tehran remains committed to nuclear safeguards though it “won’t bow to pressure.”
He added, “The US and some Western countries would dismantle Iran’s nuclear industry if they could.”
Iran is threatening to take action following a vote earlier this month at the IAEA’s Board of Governors that censured it for failing to cooperate fully with the agency.
Last week, the IAEA informed its member states in a confidential report that Iran has activated additional high-performance centrifuges to enrich uranium.
Hours later, the US threatened to respond to Iran if it further accelerates its uranium enrichment.
Less-Than-Expected Escalation
Reuters quoted diplomats as saying Iran is responding to last week's UN nuclear watchdog board resolution against it by expanding its uranium-enrichment capacity at two underground sites, but the escalation is not as big as many had feared.
According to the IAEA report, around 350 of the new machines were already installed in an underground facility in Fordow, 32 kilometers northeast of the Iranian city of Qom. Another 350 units are in the works, the agency said.
On June 5, the IAEA passed a resolution calling for Tehran to cooperate with its inspectors after years of stalling in order to clarify unanswered questions about suspected secret nuclear activities in the past.
Germany, France and Britain have indirectly threatened to call in the UN Security Council if Iran failed to provide answers.
In turn, Iran's government threatened to meet the resolution with a “proportionate, effective and immediate response.”