News / Middle East

US Expresses Concern About Iran's Choice For UN Envoy

VOA News
The United States has expressed concern about Iran's anticipated choice for its next envoy to the United Nations because of his alleged involvement in the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the State Department, told reporters Thursday that the United States has addressed Tehran on the issue.

"Well, I've said that the U.S. has raised it with the Iranian government, our concerns about this. I don't have specifics on who or where that was raised," she said.

A group of U.S. lawmakers is seeking to block Hamid Aboutalebi from entering the United States on charges that he was part of a student group that stormed the embassy in 1979.  The group held 52 U.S. diplomats for 444 days.

Hart said the United States is obliged to issue entry visas to foreign diplomats serving in the United Nations, but that there are exceptions in certain circumstances.  She said the administration is carefully examining the case.

Iran's U.N. Mission in New York has made no comment on Tehran's choice of its new envoy.

Aboutalebi has denied involvement in the hostage crisis.

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