Theweekendleader

Iran FM denied US visa to attend UNSC meet

Tehran

07-January-2020

The US has denied Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif a visa to attend the upcoming UN Security Council meet, it was reported on Tuesday.

In a statement on Tuesday, Zarif that his Ministry had "weeks ago" requested a visa to take part in meeting on slated to be held on Thursday, the Tehran-based Press TV said in a report.

Zarif rejected false claims by American officials that they did not have time to process the application.

"The Americans are trying to create the impression that our request to attend the meeting was put forth following the assassination of General Soleimani. He (Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) has told UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that they couldn't issue the visa due to shortage of time. Whereas the request had been sent several weeks in advance," he said.

The Minister added that Washington's denial was an outright violation of the terms of a 1947 UN Headquarters agreement which requires the US to allow foreign officials into the country for UN affairs.

There has been no official comments on the development from the US State Department not the UN Secretary-General's office.

Zarif had last travelled to New York in September 2019 for the UN General Assembly summit after the US imposed sanctions on him in August.

He also attended UN meetings in April and July. During the July visit, Washington imposed tight travel restrictions on him and diplomats at Iran's mission to the UN, confining them to a small section of New York City.

The latest US move against the Foreign Minister comes amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington following the death of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani in an American drone attack ordered by President Donald Trump on January 3 near the Baghdad airport. IANS