|U.S. Congress passes ban on Iran’s UN envoy pick||
TEHRAN – The U.S. Congress has passed a bill to bar Iran’s ambassador appointee to the UN from entering the country.
The House of Representatives passed the measure unanimously and sent it to U.S. President Barack Obama two days after the Senate approved it, the BBC reported on Thursday.
Hamid Aboutalebi was a part of the Iranian student group that seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 during the post-revolution incidents.
The White House has said that Mr. Aboutalebi was “not viable” but has not taken a position on the bill.
Aboutalebi, who previously served as Iran’s ambassador to Belgium, the European Union, Italy and Australia, told Iranian media that his participation in the embassy seizure primarily involved translation.
On Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “We’ve made clear and have communicated to the Iranians that the selection they’ve put forward is not viable.”
But he declined to say whether President Obama would sign the bill into law.
The Iranian government, meanwhile, has called the U.S. rejection of Aboutalebi “not acceptable”.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said that Aboutalebi had previously received a U.S. visa as part of a visit to the UN in the 1990s.
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