US attitude to UN envoy choice 'unacceptable': Iran
Dubai, April 9, 2014
Iran has dismissed as "unacceptable" US government reservations about Tehran's choice of Hamid Abutalebi as its new UN ambassador, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Some members of the US Congress have expressed outrage at the selection of the veteran Iranian diplomat, who they accuse of playing a role in the 1979-81 hostage crisis in Iran when US embassy workers were held for 444 days.
The White House made clear on Tuesday (April 8) it did not welcome Abutalebi, saying officials had told Tehran that the selection was "not viable".
But White House spokesman Jay Carney stopped short of saying Abutalebi would be barred from entering the United States.
"The attitude of the US government towards Iran's (choice) for UN envoy is not acceptable. Iran has officially conveyed its views," IRNA quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying.
The spokesperson said Abutalebi was among Iran's best and most experienced diplomats, noting he had "ambassadorship experience" in Italy, Belgium and Australia.
As the "host" nation for the UN headquarters, the US is generally required to provide access to the United Nations for foreign diplomats.
However, the State Department last week said US law allows it to deny visas to diplomats for reasons of "security, terrorism, and foreign policy." - Reuters