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                                        Volume. 11962

U.S. visa refusal to Iran’s envoy undermines UN position: Iran
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TEHRAN – The United States’ refusal to grant a visa to Iran’s proposed UN ambassador will weaken the United Nations’ position, says Iranian deputy permanent representative to the UN Gholam Hossein Dehqani.
 
In a meeting on Tuesday with Miguel Soares, the UN under-secretary general for legal affairs, Dehqani discussed the unprecedented move of the United States in refusing a visa to Tehran’s choice. 
 
The United States said on Friday it would not grant a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi because he was believed to have participated in the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979. Aboutalebi has said that he acted only as a translator.
 
During the meeting, Dehqani asked the UN to show a proper response to this move, which “is in breach of the Host Country’s commitments under the Headquarters Agreement and other diplomatic laws”, adding that it will “affect adversely the work of intergovernmental organizations and activities of their Member-States.”
 
Also, Soares vowed to cooperate with the Islamic Republic on this issue, noting that after studying the legal aspects of the problem he would take necessary measures. 
 
Taking a harsher tone toward Iran’s proposed UN envoy, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “It would be unacceptable for the United States to grant this visa.”
 
In accordance to the 1947 agreement that the United States signed, the United States is obliged to grant entry visas to representatives of United Nations member states. Thus, the United States and more specifically the president of the United States, has no right to deny a visa or entry to the country. Nor does the U.S. have the right to pass a bill that blocks entry if the individual is an incoming ambassador of the United Nations, wrote The Daily Cardinal on Monday. 
 
U.S. President Barack Obama had come under strong pressure not to allow Aboutalebi into the country to take up his position.
 
UN lawyers reported to the Committee on Relations with the Host Country that the United States was obligated to grant the visa under the UN headquarters’ agreement.
 
The lawyers also said the headquarters agreement “does not contain a reservation of the right to bar the entry of those who represent, in the view of the host country, a threat to its security.”
 
MT/PA 

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