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Craig Ruttle, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2015 file photo, Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at United Nations headquarters. As Iran races to satisfy the terms of last summer’s nuclear deal and the U.S. prepares to suspend sanctions on Tehran as early as Friday, Kerry is talking to Zarif more than any other foreign leader, including an emergency call Tuesday to secure the release of 10 U.S. sailors after they were detained by Iran in the Persian Gulf.

WASHINGTON — For diplomats from countries without diplomatic relations, Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif sure are doing a lot of diplomacy.

As Iran races to satisfy the terms of last summer's nuclear deal and the U.S. prepares to suspend sanctions, Kerry is talking to Zarif more than any other foreign leader. Those talks included several emergency calls Tuesday to secure the release of 10 U.S. sailors Iran detained in the Persian Gulf.

Since Jan. 1, Kerry and Zarif have spoken by phone at least 11 times.

By contrast, America's top diplomat has talked to Saudi Arabia's foreign minister twice. He has consulted once each with the Saudi deputy crown prince, Jordan's king and the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the EU.