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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Iran president-elect Raisi plays hardball; KSA has an ambassador in Doha; new Israeli FM to visit UAE next week.

Iran isn’t cozying up to the US anytime soon: Confirming his title as a hardliner, newly elected Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said he would not be meeting with US President Joe Biden and called Tehran’s ballistic missile program “non-negotiable,” according to the Associated Press. Raisi called on the US to remove all sanctions on Iran, but did not comment on the status of negotiations between the incumbent government and world powers over reviving the 2015 nuclear accord, which have made progress in recent days.

Also worth knowing this morning:

  • Saudi Arabia's new ambassador to Qatar has presented his credentials to the Qatari foreign minister, in the first official rapprochement between the two countries after the Al Ula accord this year ended almost four years of diplomatic freeze between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors.
  • Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will pay his first official visit to the UAE on 29 June, Reuters reports, during which he will inaugurate Israel’s Embassy in Abu Dhabi and consulate in Dubai.
  • Japan will allow locals into the Tokyo Olympics with a 50% capacity limit per venue, organizers said Monday, in a last ditch attempt to save some semblance of fanfare at the event, according to the Associated Press. Organizers may scrap the audience idea altogether if covid-19 cases increase on a national level in Japan, where the majority of people have not yet been vaccinated.

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