whois failing

whois failing

I am running CentOS. When I do a whois lookup from the command line it fails to even look up the ip address of the whois server.

Code:

[root@router ~]# whois google.com
[Querying whois.verisign-grs.com]
[Unable to connect to remote host]


But if I add the ip address to the /etc/hosts file for whois.verisign-grs.com the whois will work just fine.

So I think whois is not able to do dns lookups. What would prevent whois from doing dns lookups?

Other tools work just fine such as ping, traceroute, dig, and host. Why do these work and whois fails?

Thanks.

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