Iran FM Departs for New York after Visa Controversy

Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has finally left Tehran for New York in order to attend the annual meeting of the high-ranking officials of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Following the UN meeting, Zarif will leave the US for Venezuela, where he is going to attend the Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

While in Caracas, the Iranian top diplomat will hold bilateral talks with top Venezuelan officials.

After Venezuela, he will also pay visits to Nicaragua and Bolivia for bilateral meetings.

The trip to New York comes after Zarif protested the US for not issuing him a visa in the wake of the Donald Trump administration’s earlier plan to blacklist the Iranian top diplomat. The US president, however, later called off the sanction “for now”.

Until Friday, the US had refused to issue Zarif a visa despite the US government’s obligations under the UN Headquarters Agreement.

A US State Department spokesperson told Al-Monitor that “we take our obligations under the UN Headquarters Agreement seriously, and we adjudicate visa applications accordingly and in compliance with US law.”

The remarks came after the US administration decided not to designate Zarif at this time, ostensibly out of respect for the intensified allied diplomatic efforts.

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