The Trump administration has finally issued visas allowing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to travel to New York, where they are going to attend the annual session of the UN General Assembly, Iran’s UN mission said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi confirmed on Thursday that Zarif was set to leave for New York on Friday.
Zarif said earlier on Thursday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was trying to delay issuing visas for the Iranian delegation to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly.
“Pompeo tries to dodge US obligation to issue visas for UN delegates by resorting to self-arrogated designation,” Zarif tweeted.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had declined to comment specifically on the case on Wednesday, saying “We don’t talk about granting or absence of granting of visas.”
As the host government, the US generally is obliged to issue visas to diplomats who serve at UN headquarters.
The US’ move to issue the visas came after Iran complained about the issue, and said it may cancel the president’s visit if the permits were not issued immediately.
Following Iran’s threat, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he would resolve the issue with American officials.
The long delay in visa issuance comes as Donald Trump has longed for a face-to-face meeting with President Rouhani ahead of the 2020 elections in the US, but the latter has so far rejected any bilateral talks, saying he would be open to a multilateral meeting if the US lifts the anti-Iran sanctions.