Iran can take envoy case to UN: Deputy FM

Tehran says it can pursue through the UN the issue of the United States’ visa denial to Iran’s newly-appointed envoy to the UN, Hamid Aboutalebi.  

“We can follow up on the issue through the UN Secretariat and contact UN Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon],” said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-e Ravanchi on Sunday.

Iran is not considering replacing Aboutalebi for the time being and will pursue the case of Washington’s refusal to grant the appointee a visa.

Tehran has a number of options to take action against Washington’s move via the United Nations, the Iranian official said.

The official further underlined that the case of the visa denial “has nothing to do with Iran-US relations and is a UN issue.”

“Mr. Aboutalebi has been nominated as the ambassador of Iran to the United Nations and this issue is not related to Iran-US ties that the US would want to issue a visa for an Iranian citizen,” Takht-e Ravanchi added.

On April 11, the White House said it had announced to Iran and the UN that the US would not issue Aboutalebi with a visa.

The announcement came a day after the US House of Representatives unanimously approved a legislation that prevents Aboutalebi from entering the US. 

Washington says it is denying Aboutalebi a visa because he was involved in the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran during post-revolution incidents in 1979. Aboutalebi, however, says, he worked merely as an interpreter while negotiations for the release of the embassy staff were going on.

On November 4, 1979, a group of Iranian university students took over the US embassy in Tehran, which they believed had turned into a den of espionage. Documents found at the compound later corroborated the claims by the students.

The UN regulations stipulate that each country is allowed to select its own representatives at the international organization and the US, as the host country, must grant visas to the appointed diplomats.

By Press TV


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