|U.S. says Iran’s new UN appointee not “viable”||
TEHRAN – The United States said on Tuesday that it did not welcome Iran’s choice of Hamid Aboutalebi as its new United Nations ambassador, saying that the selection was “not viable.”
“We’ve informed the government of Iran that this potential selection is not viable,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Monday seeking to bar Aboutalebi from entering the United States.
However, Carney stopped short of saying Aboutalebi would be barred from entering the U.S. because there was a possibility that he had played a role in the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 during the post-revolution incidents.
The U.S. is generally required to provide access to the UN for foreign diplomats. However, the State Department last week said U.S. law allows it to deny visas to diplomats for reasons of “security, terrorism, and foreign policy,” according to Reuters.
Some members of the U.S. Congress have expressed outrage at the choice of the veteran Iranian diplomat.
“We share the Senate’s concerns regarding this case and find the potential nomination very troubling,” said Carney.
On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham described the U.S. officials’ stance towards Iran’s representative to the UN as “unacceptable.”
“Dr. Hamid Aboutalebi is the choice of the Islamic Republic of Iran for representing the country in the United Nations, and he is one of Iran’s most qualified diplomats,” Afkham said.
Aboutalebi has served as Iran’s envoy in Italy, Belgium and Australia, Afkham said, adding that he had received a U.S. visa to visit the UN in the 1990s.
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