Senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials said on Saturday Tehran remains insistent on its pick for the post of Ambassador to the United Nations and will resort to legal means to counter the US refusal to issue visa for Hamid Aboutalebi.
“We are considering no alternative to replace Aboutalebi and we are pursuing the issue through legal mechanisms,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi said.
On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham deplored Washington’s position on Tehran’s appointee for the post of ambassador to the United Nations, Hamid Aboutalebi, as “unacceptable”.
Afkham’s remarks came in reaction to the Tuesday night’s comments by the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney who said Washington has informed Tehran that its new ambassador to the UN will not be welcomed to the US.
“The US government’s treatment of the Islamic Republic’s ambassador to the UN is unacceptable and Dr. Hamid Aboutalebi is Iran’s choice for the UN representative post,” Afkham said.
She pointed to Aboutalebi’s diplomatic experience as Iran’s envoy in Italy, Belgium and Australia, and said, “The veteran Iranian diplomat had received a US visa to visit the UN in the 1990s.”
On Tuesday, Carney said Iran’s new pick for the post is “not viable”.
He made the remarks after the US Senate approved a measure on Monday to bar Iran’s proposed ambassador to the UN from entering the US.
The bill, sponsored by Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, was passed by the Democratic-controlled chamber by a voice vote.
The Senate took the measure to deny Aboutalebi an entry visa over his possible involvement in the US Embassy takeover in Tehran following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
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.” Documents found at the compound later corroborated the claims by the students.
On Tuesday, a senior lawmaker deplored the US Senate move to bar Aboutalebi as blatant interference in the UN affairs.
“The US Senate action to bar Aboutalebi’s entry as Iran’s designated ambassador at the UN is sheer interference in the internal affairs of the UN,” member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohammad Hassan Asafari said on Tuesday.
He underlined that the Senate move brings the UN’s structure and independence under question and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, should show strong opposition and counter the US Senate’s aggressive move.
“The Americans are not entitled to the right to oppose the entry of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s representative at the UN and the US Senate approval is illegal,” Asafari said.