[QODLink]
Americas

Obama signs law blocking Iran's envoy to UN

Hamid Aboutalebi has acknowledged acting as an interpreter for the group that took part in the 1979 US Embassy takeover.

Last updated: 18 Apr 2014 20:43
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

US President Barack Obama has signed legislation aimed at blocking Iran's chosen ambassador to the United Nations, but says he is only treating it as guidance.

The unusual legislation bars anyone from entering the US as a UN representative if they have engaged in espionage or what it calls "terrorist activity" and still pose a threat to US security, the AP news agency reported.

The measure is aimed at preventing Hamid Aboutalebi from entering the US. The Iranian government's preferred envoy is accused of involvement in the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran.

Obama says he shares politicians' concerns that "terrorists" could use diplomatic cover to enter the US, but he says he will treat the legislation as advisory out of concern it could interfere with his ability to receive ambassadors.

The White House has said Aboutalebi was an unacceptable choice and the Obama administration has refused to grant him a visa.

The veteran diplomat has admitted that he acted as an interpreter for the group which held the hostages.

Iran dismissed the decision to deny Aboutalebi a visa, saying it would take up the case directly with the UN.

"We do not have a replacement for Mr Abutalebi and we will pursue the matter via legal mechanisms anticipated in the United Nations," Abbas Araghchi, a senior Foreign Ministry official and top nuclear negotiator, was quoted by Iran's official IRNA news agency as saying.

227

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.