CAIRO (AP) — The top U.S. military official cautioned Monday that the Obama administration’s quest to bolster relations with Tehran most likely will be met at first by “a closed fist.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is on a delicate mission to soothe concerns from Mideast allies about American efforts to open diplomatic relations with Iran.

Gates arrived in Cairo on the first leg of a Mideast tour that will include Saudi Arabia. He said part of his mission this week will be to assure the Saudis, particularly, that any U.S. gesture toward Tehran will be for the purpose of improving security throughout the region.

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