“What we know about the issue is that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that they had too little time to issue my visa and won’t do so, and the Secretary General said in response that it is Iran’s right to attend the meeting” slated for January 9, 2020, the Iranian foreign minister said on Tuesday.
“In the current situation I would not like very much to attend the meeting, but it was an opportunity for us to bring up the US crimes,” Zarif said.
He further noted that the US refusal to issue a visa for his presence at the UN Security Council’s special meeting shows the bankruptcy of the US government and Donald Trump’s regime.
The US refusal to issue visa for Zarif is in fact a continuation of its visa restrictions since 2017 when the Trump administration introduced a law that banned the citizens of six Muslim countries including Iran from entry into the US unless under specific circumstances.
The Trump administration has ratcheted up its visa restrictions on Iran ever since, as it has added several Iranian officials to the list of sanctioned people.
Although Zarif has been on the list since 1 August 2019, the US government gave him the permission to accompany President Rouhani in his visit to New York in September 2019. However, his movement was restricted in the city to the UN headquarters and the Iranian ambassador’s residence.
No officially confirmed explanation has been extended by the US government so far as to why this time Iran’s Foreign Minister was denied the visa.