Zarif takes swipe at U.S. for not letting him visit envoy in NY hospital

September 29, 2019

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says he has been able to see and talk to Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht-Ravanchi “thanks to technology”, taking a thinly veiled swipe at U.S. government which banned him from visiting the diplomat in a New York hospital.

“Thanks to technology, I was able to see and talk to my friend of 40 years and our UN ambassador Ravanchi, who is in hospital here in New York only a few blocks away,” Zarif tweeted on Saturday.

The U.S. State Department said on Friday that Zarif’s request to visit Takht-Ravanchi would be granted if Iran released one of several American citizens it had detained, according to Reuters.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said “disgrace will be left for a government that takes humanitarian issues hostage for its political goals.”

In July, the United States imposed tight travel restrictions on Zarif before a visit that month to the United Nations. The same restrictions were also imposed on Iranian diplomats and their families living in New York, which Zarif described as “basically inhuman.”

“It is certainly not a friendly action. It puts the members of the mission and their families under basically inhuman conditions. But for me it’s fine because I don’t have any work anywhere other than the three buildings,” the top diplomat said at the time.

MH/PA

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