Iran complains to UN about US visa refusal

London, April 15: Iran has complained to the UN about the US denying a visa to Iran’s UN envoy-designate, a media report said Tuesday.

Iran’s Deputy Envoy to the UN Hossein Dehghani complained that the US had violated its legal obligations under international laws and also wrote to the UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country to request for an urgent meeting, BBC reported.

“This decision of the US government has indeed negative implications for multilateral diplomacy and will create a dangerous precedence and affect adversely the work of intergovernmental organisations and activities of their member states,” Dehghani was quoted as saying.

The US said that it can deny visas on terrorism, security and foreign policy issues.

The Iranian parliament has also given a 10-day ultimatum to the government to file a lawsuit against the US.

The US refused to issue a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi April 11 for allegedly being involved in the siege of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979.

The refusal of the visa has prevented Aboutalebi from taking up his duties at the UN headquarters in New York.

The US House of Representatives and the Senate have both voted in favour of a bill barring him from entering the US.

The bill still requires US President Barack Obama’s signature for it to become law.

Aboutalebi, a senior political adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, has previously served as the Iranian ambassador to Italy, Belgium and Australia.

Aboutalebi has denied being a part of the group which laid siege to the US embassy and has insisted that he acted merely as a translator on a couple of occasions.

Fifty two US diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days (Nov 4, 1979 to Jan 20, 1981) by pro-Iranian Revolution students.