Iran has said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will not attend this week's World Economic Forum in Switzerland after organisers changed his programme.

The four-day annual summit, which will kick off in the Swiss resort of Davos on Tuesday, has been overshadowed by escalating tensions between the United States and Iran.

Zarif's absence removes any chance of a showdown with US President Donald Trump, who is expected to attend the forum.

"They changed the original programme they had for him [Zarif], the programme that had been agreed upon, and came up with something else," Abbas Mousavi, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, told a news conference in Tehran on Monday.

"Either way, this trip unfortunately will not happen," he said.

Tensions between longtime foes Washington and Tehran have worsened after Trump's decision in 2018 to withdraw his country from a landmark nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers.

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