Share

POLITICS: PennAve

White House denies visa for Iran's United Nations envoy

|
Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Iran,PennAve,United Nations,Meghashyam Mali,Jay Carney,Foreign Policy

The White House announced Friday that the U.S. will not grant a visa to Iran's new envoy to the United Nations, citing his involvement in the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.

“We have informed the United Nations and Iran that we will not issue a visa to Mr. [Hamid] Abutalebi,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

Abutalebi is believed to be a member of the group of Iranian students who stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, taking a number of Americans hostage.

His posting to the UN in New York has also outraged lawmakers on Capitol Hill. The House and Senate have passed legislation which would bar him from entering the country.

Carney did not say if President Obama would sign that legislation.

“We'll review the legislation — and we're doing that now — and we will work to address any issues related to its utility and constitutionality, but we share the intent of the bill,” he said.

Carney said the decision to not grant a visa had been shared with the Iranian government.

“Well, we've communicated with the Iranians at a number of levels, and made clear our position on this, and that includes our position that the selection was not viable, and our position that we will not be issuing him a visa,” he said.

The diplomatic standoff comes as the U.S. and world powers continue nuclear talks with Iran. Carney said he did not believe the current dispute would affect those negotiations.

View article comments Leave a comment