US: Visa Denial to Iran's UN Envoy Not to Affect N. Talks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) — The Obama administration said the decision to bar Iran’s newly-appointed ambassador to the United Nations from entering the US, will not affect the ongoing talks between Tehran and the six major world powers.
The decision to deny a visa to Hamid Abutalebi has not harmed and will not harm the negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said during a press briefing on Friday.
The latest round of nuclear talks between delegations representing Iran and the G5+1 (alternatively known as P5+1 or E3+3), which began in the Austrian capital on Tuesday morning, came to an end on Wednesday evening.
The negotiating parties are slated to convene the next meeting on May 13, again in Vienna, to start drafting the text of a final, long-awaited deal on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program.
On Tuesday, after the Senate voted to bar Abutalebi from the United States, the White House said the new Iranian ambassador to the UN will not be welcomed in the US, and described his nomination as “not viable”. The House of Representatives unanimously passed the same legislation on Thursday.
Under a 1947 law that established the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, the United States is obligated to issue visas to diplomats assigned there, even those it finds objectionable.
According to reports, Washington has decided to deny a visa to Abutalebi over his possible involvement in the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran during post-revolution incidents in 1979.
On November 4, 1979, and in less than a year after the victory of the Islamic Revolution that toppled a US-backed monarchy, Iranian university students that called themselves "students following the line of (the late) Imam (Khomeini)" seized the US embassy in Tehran.
The students justified the takeover by insisting that the compound had become a center of espionage and planning to overthrow the newly established Islamic system in Iran.
The students occupying the embassy later published documents proving that the compound was indeed engaged in plans and measures to overthrow the Islamic system.