Baku, Azerbaijan, April 8
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Senior Iranian official says the U.S. administration should issue a visa to Iran's newly appointed envoy to the UN, Hamid Aboutalebi.
Aboutalebi is Iran's choice for the post and has competency to attend the United Nation headquarters in the New York, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said, the country's ISNA news agency reported on April 8.
The U.S. Senate approved a bill on April 7 to bar Aboutalebi from entering the United States.
Aboutalebi is accused of having ties with the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days (Nov. 4, 1979-Jan. 20, 1981), after a group of Iranian students supporting the Iranian Revolution took over the US Embassy in Tehran.
The new envoy dismisses his role in the issue saying that when the occupation of the U.S. embassy happened he was not in Tehran therefore could not be part of it.
"When I came back to Tehran ... I was asked to help with doing some translation and I accepted to do it," he told Iranian Khabaronline website.
Commenting on the U.S. Senate bill the Iranian spokeswoman said that Iran has applied for the necessary visa for Aboutalebi, adding that the country will pursue the issue via diplomatic channels.