UN Concerned by US Curbs on Iran FM while in New York
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United Nations told the United States it is concerned by tight travel restrictions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during his visit to New York this week, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said on Monday.
Zarif arrived in New York on Sunday after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on the visit amid heightened tensions between the two countries. But Zarif is only allowed to travel between the United Nations, the Iranian UN mission, the Iranian UN ambassador’s residence and New York’s John F. Kennedy airport, a US State Department official said.
Late last month Washington threatened to blacklist Zarif, a move that could impede any US effort to use diplomacy to resolve disagreements with Tehran. However, sources have told Reuters that Washington had decided to hold off for now.
Haq told reporters that the UN secretariat is “in close contact with the permanent missions of the United States and Iran to the UN and has conveyed its concerns to the host country.”
US special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, said no US government officials would meet with Zarif.
The United States had restricted Zarif’s travel “in a manner that is fully consistent” with its obligations under a 1947 agreement with the United Nations, the US State Department official said.
Despite the travel restrictions, Zarif did interviews on Monday with Britain’s BBC and US network NBC at the residence of the Iranian UN ambassador on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said that all of Zarif’s meetings, interviews and speeches would be done at the United Nations, the Iranian UN mission or the Iranian UN ambassador’s residence.
Zarif is due to attend a ministerial meeting at the United Nations on sustainable development goals, which aim to tackle issues including conflict, hunger, equality and climate change by 2030.