US will not give visa to Iran pick for UN post

April 12, 2014 - 1:09:01 am
White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks to reporters at the daily press briefing, yesterday, at the White House in Washington.

WASHINGTON: The United States denied a visa to Iran’s proposed UN ambassador yesterday, citing the envoy’s links to the 1979-1981 Iranian hostage crisis.

President Barack Obama had come under strong pressure not to allow Hamid Abutalebi into the country to take up his position in New York. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United Nations and Iran had been told “that we will not issue a visa to Mr. Abutalebi.” 

US law allows the government to bar UN diplomats who are considered national security threats, but Obama’s step could open the United States to criticism that it is using its position as host nation improperly.