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The U.S. State Department said Monday it will send its special Persian Gulf envoy to the region as part of continued diplomatic efforts to steer Iran away from its suspected quest for nuclear weapons.

It will be the first trip to the region for Dennis 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 U.S. Central Command, Lt. Gen. John R. Allen, and National Security Council official Puneet Talwar.