US envoy on Iran to visit Middle East, Gulf regions

The US State Department on Monday announced it is sending Dennis Ross, its special envoy for the Gulf, to the region to discuss international diplomatic efforts to persuade Iran to abandon its suspected quest for nuclear weapons. It will be the first trip to the region for Ross since he was named to the position in late February. The State Department said Ross will begin his trip Tuesday and will visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar. He will be accompanied by the deputy commander of US Central Command, Lt. Gen. John R. Allen, and National Security Council official Puneet Talwar.