Iran defends new UN appointee questioned by US

Iran defends new UN appointee questioned by US
Tue Apr 8, 2014 15:45:55

Iran says its new appointee for the post of ambassador to the United Nations, Hamid Abutalebi, is qualified adn well experienced for the position.

“In our viewpoint, the ambassador who has been introduced is qualified for the position and has had important diplomatic posts in European countries and Australia and has had a good, effective and positive performance during his past [diplomatic] missions,” Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham told reporters at her weekly press conference on Tuesday.

She made the remarks in response to a question about whether Iran would propose another person instead of Abutalebi given that the US has voiced concerns about the appointment.

Aboutalebi’s appointment by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been criticized by the Barack Obama administration, which has described the nomination as “extremely troubling.”

As host nation of the United Nations’ headquarters, the US should admit the chosen representatives of the UN’s members; however, under limited circumstances, it can refuse to grant visas to such representatives.

Afkham said Iran has done the necessary correspondence for Aboutalebi’s visa application through the appropriate channels, and will make further decisions based on formal and diplomatic response regarding the issue.

On Monday, the US Senate passed a measure by a voice vote that would bar Aboutalebi from entering the United States for his involvement in the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran during post-revolution incidents in 1979. However, the Senate “vote is symbolic because the executive branch issues visas to the U.S.,” according to Bloomberg.

On November 4, 1979, a group of Iranian university students took over the US embassy in Tehran, which they believed had turned into a “den of espionage” that aimed to overthrow the nascent Islamic Republic. Documents found at the compound later corroborated the claims by the students.


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