FILE – Hamid Aboutalebi, an Iranian diplomat, who was recently named as Iran’s ambassador at the United Nations, speaks at his office in Tehran, Iran.
April 15, 2014
Iran is asking a United Nations committee to hold a special meeting on the refusal of the United States to issue a visa to Iran’s choice for its ambassador to the U.N.
American officials object to Iran’s selection of Hamid Abutalebi because of his alleged involvement in the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. White House spokesman Jay Carney said last week the choice is “not viable.”
In a letter Monday, Iran’s mission to the U.N. said that decision has “negative implications” diplomatically and creates a dangerous precedent. It says denying a visa to a U.N. member state goes against the U.N. charter and international law.
Iran wants the U.N. Committee on Relations with the Host Country to urgently address the issue.
U.S. adopts harsher tone in U.N. envoy dispute with Iran
16 April 2014, 01:02 (GMT+05:00)
The United States adopted a harsher tone toward Iran’s proposed U.N. ambassador on Tuesday, calling Tehran’s choice of Hamid Abutalebi “unacceptable” and tying him to the 1979-1981 U.S. hostage crisis in Tehran, Reuters reported.
While it did not detail what the veteran diplomat may have done during the period, when radical Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy and held 52 U.S. hostages for 444 days, the State Department for the first time linked the U.S. decision not to issue him a visa to those events.
“He himself has said he was involved and, given his role in the events of 1979, which clearly matter profoundly to the American people, it would be unacceptable for the United States to grant this visa,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily briefing.
Abutalebi has said that he acted only as a translator.
Previously U.S. spokespeople used softer language, saying the choice was not “viable.”