Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif has had a video chat with the country’s UN ambassador who has been hospitalized in New York, after the US barred the top diplomat from visiting the patient.
“Thanks to technology, I was able to see and talk to my friend of 40 years and our UN ambassador Ravanchi, who is in hospital here in New York only a few blocks away,” Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account on Saturday.
The American authorities have forbidden Zarif from visiting a New York hospital to see Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi, who is under cancer treatment.
The US State Department has said it would allow the hospital travel request only if Iran released one of the US citizens claimed to be “wrongfully detained” in Iran.
In comments on Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi criticized the US for taking humanitarian issues “hostage” for political causes.
Zarif is currently in New York for the 74th annual session of the UN General Assembly.
In July, the United States imposed tight travel restrictions on Zarif before a visit that month to the United Nations, as well as on Iranian diplomats and their families living in New York, which Zarif described as “basically inhuman.”