Iran: Visa decision sets 'dangerous' precedent

 

Iran has complained to the United Nations over the United States’ decision to deny a visa to its nominated ambassador to the U.N. 

On Monday evening, Iran’s deputy envoy to the U.N., Hossein Dehghani, wrote to the U.N. Committee on Relations with the Host Country that the U.S. had violated its legal obligations and set a dangerous precedent, the BBC reports

"This decision of the US government has indeed negative implications for multilateral diplomacy and will create a dangerous precedence and affect adversely the work of intergovernmental organizations and activities of their member states," he warned.

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Dehghani requested an urgent meeting with the U.N. committee. Its chairman, Nicolas Emiliou of Cyprus, said that meeting could probably be held next week.

The nominee, Hamid Abutalebi, has acknowledged he worked as a negotiator and translator for the student group responsible for holding Americans hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran for 444 days in the late 1970s.

The White House revealed Friday that it would not issue a visa to Abutalebi after expressing his nomination was "not viable."

“We have informed the United Nations and Iran that we will not issue a visa to Mr. Hamid Abutalebi,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Both the House and Senate passed legislation last week that would prevent the U.S. from providing visas to U.N. ambassadors who have ties to terrorist attacks against the U.S. 

The State Department and White House both said they don’t expect the visa debacle to harm negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.