September 20, 2019

US issues visas for Iran’s Rouhani, Zarif to travel to UNGA

The United States has issued visas allowing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to travel to New York for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations next week, Iran’s UN mission said on Thursday.

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Iran’s foreign minister spokesman said in a tweet that Zarif was set to leave for New York on Friday.

Zarif said earlier on Thursday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was trying to delay issuing visas for the Iranian delegation to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, according to Aljazeera report.

“@SecPompeo tries to dodge US obligation to issue visas for UN delegates by resorting to self-arrogated designation,” Zarif tweeted.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had declined to comment specifically on the case on Wednesday, saying “We don’t talk about granting or absence of granting of visas.”

“If you’re connected to a foreign terrorist organisation, I don’t know,” he added. “Seems to me it would be a reason to think about whether they have to be permitted to attend a meeting which is about peace.”

As the host government, the US generally is obliged to issue visas to diplomats who serve at UN headquarters.

Vanguard News Nigeria.