Iran names new UN envoy

Gholamali Khoshroo, former Iranian deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs and assistant of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, speaks at the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” March 6, 2014. (photo by World Public Forum)

After nearly a year of controversy with US officials over its previous pick, Iran has appointed a new UN envoy. Gholamali Khoshroo, a seasoned diplomat who works to promote former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami’s “Dialogue of Civilizations,” has been appointed as Iran’s permanent representative at the United Nations, said Iran’s Foreign Ministry in a statement.

The previous pick by by Iran, Hamid Abutalebi, caused an uproar when the United States refused to grant him a visa over Abutalebi’s role in the 1979 hostage crisis at the US Embassy in Tehran, where 52 Americans were held for 444 days. Abutalebi was instead appointed as President Hassan Rouhani’s political affairs adviser, and he has since been active on Twitter promoting engagement between Iran and the United States in Iraq.

In a statement, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that its protest over Abutalebi’s case remains in place; however, “The Islamic Republic believes that in order to secure its national interests and promote Iran’s place on the international scene, it must use the opportunity to secure Iran’s interests at a maximum level and it is necessary to have an active and effective presence at the United Nations, especially in consideration of the critical regional and international situation.”

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