UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States on Tuesday of breaching its arrangement with the United Nations by denying him a visa to speak at a Security Council conference amidst escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran.
FILE IMAGE: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif searches during a meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow, Russia December 30,2019 REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
A U.S. authorities, speaking on condition of privacy, told Reuters on Monday that Zarif would not be offered a visa to participate in Thursday’s conference. Zarif validated on Tuesday that he would not be provided a U.S. visa.
” What we understand is that the U.S. State Secretary (Mike Pompeo), in a call to the Secretary General of the United Nations (Antonio Guterres), stated: ‘We did not have time to issue a visa for Mohammad Javad Zarif and we will not provide a visa’,” stated Zarif, according to Iran’s semi-official ISNA news company.
” The Secretary General responded by saying that it is Iran’s right to take part in this session,” Zarif stated.
Zarif wanted to go to a meeting of the Security Council on the subject of upholding the U.N. Charter. The conference and Zarif’s travel had actually been prepared prior to the most recent flare-up in tensions between Washington and Tehran.
The Security Council conference would have provided Zarif a global spotlight to publicly slam the United States for eliminating Iran’s most prominent military leader, Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad on Friday.
” I do not think Secretary Pompeo thought this was the best time for Mr Zarif to come to the United States and whenever he concerns New york city he spreads out propaganda,” White House nationwide security consultant Robert O’Brien informed Fox News on Tuesday.
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” I believe he’ll be fine missing that conference,” he said, recommending Zarif could participate by phone or video conference.
Zarif published on Twitter earlier on Tuesday: “What are they actually afraid of? Truth?”
Pompeo and Guterres spoke by phone on Monday. U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said he was unaware of the specific status of Zarif’s visa and decreased to talk about the information of the phone call between Pompeo and Guterres.
Iranian diplomats spoke with a senior official in Guterres’ workplace on Monday afternoon, Dujarric stated.
Pompeo informed press reporters on Tuesday that he would not talk about visa matters “so I can’t add a lot more to this issue of Foreign Minister Zarif’s travel to the United States.”
” I’ll say only this – we will constantly abide by our obligations under the U.N. requirements and the head office agreement and we will do so in this particular circumstances and more broadly everyday,” Pompeo said.
Under the 1947 U.N. “head office agreement,” the United States is usually required to allow access to the United Nations for foreign diplomats. However Washington states it can reject visas for “security, terrorism and diplomacy” factors.
A possible caveat in the arrangement checks out: “The United States maintains complete control and authority over the entry of persons or property into the territory of the United States and the conditions under which individuals may remain or live there.”
Extra reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Steve Orlofsky
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