TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Justice Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi lashed out at Washington for its refusal to issue entry visa for the country’s new Ambassador to the UN Hamid Aboutalebi, and reiterated that Iran will adopt a rigid stance against the US at international bodies in this regard.
“The issue of Iran’s complaint against the US for not issuing visa for its proposed ambassador to the UN in New York is being pursued through conventional official (and legal) mechanisms,” the Iranian justice minister told FNA on Tuesday.
He underlined that the US move is blatant violation of the international laws and against the Headquarters Agreement between the US and the UN.
On Monday, Iran’s Permanent Mission to the UN called for an urgent meeting of the UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country to discuss the US hotile policy in Aboutalebi’s case.
In a Monday letter to the committee, the Iranian Permanent Mission to the UN asked for a special meeting of the body to consider Washington’s refusal to issue visa for Aboutalebi.
The Iranian mission expressed Tehran’s “serious concern” over Washington’s visa denial to Aboutalebi, and said, “Washington’s move is in contravention of international laws and its obligations under the Headquarters Agreement.”
Under the 1947 Headquarters Agreement, the United States, as the host country of the UN, is required to allow access to the world body for foreign diplomats.
Contrary to the UN regulations, the White House on April 11 said that it had announced to Iran and the UN that the US would not issue Aboutalebi a visa.
The announcement came a day after the US House of Representatives unanimously approved a legislation that would prevent Aboutalebi from entering the US. The US Senate had earlier approved the legislation in a voice vote.
The White House is still reviewing the legislation, which must be signed by US President Barack Obama before taking effect.
Washington says it is denying Aboutalebi a visa because he was involved in the takeover of the former US embassy in Tehran during post-revolution incidents in 1979. Aboutalebi, however, says, he worked merely as an interpreter while negotiations were going on for the release of the embassy staff.
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.
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