The White House announced Friday that it will not grant a visa to Iran’s pick to be its United Nations ambassador, Hamid Aboutalebi, amid a controversy over his role in the 1979 hostage-taking at the American embassy in Tehran.
“We have informed the United Nations and Iran that we will not issue a visa to Mr. Aboutalebi,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily briefing.
It was not clear whether Iran would challenge the decision at the United Nations or whether the unusual rejection would poison President Barack Obama’s diplomatic outreach to Tehran.
The announcement came after Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill designed to keep Aboutalebi out of the United States because of the part he played in the crisis, in which 52 Americans where held hostage 444 days. The diplomat has said that he took part in the standoff only after the seizure of the embassy and that his role was as a translator.
Carney would not say whether Obama would sign the legislation, citing concernsRead More »from U.S. will block Iranian diplomat from United Nations