Iran’s Zarif Denied Diplomatic Visa to Attend UN Security Council

The Trump administration has rejected the Iranian foreign minister’s request for a visa in order to attend a UN Security Council meeting amid escalated tensions between Tehran and Washington, Foreign Policy reported Monday.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was allegedly not allowed to enter the U.S. to speak at the United Nations Security Council, according to Foreign Policy, citing three diplomatic sources.

The Hill reported that visa denial was in violation of the 1947 headquarters agreement mandating the U.S. allow foreign officials into the country to conduct U.N. business, according to the publication.

Zarif was expected to address the world for the first time after the U.S. conducted a strike killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. 

The foreign minister reportedly filed for a visa a “few weeks ago” to discuss the importance of the U.N. Charter, a diplomatic source familiar with the matter told Foreign Policy. 

A Trump administration told U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres Monday that the U.S. would deny Zarif’s visa, a Washington-based diplomatic source told the news outlet.

The Hill reached out to the State Department and the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the U.N. for comment. The U.N. declined to comment. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has limited access to the U.S. by Iranian officials, including Zarif, to prevent their ability to bring their message to the U.S. public.

Iran has vowed retaliation against the U.S. for the strike that killed Soleimani last week. Trump responded by threatening to target 52 sites in Iran if the country retaliates, representing the 52 hostages taken in the 1979 crisis.

Iran also ended its commitment to the nuclear deal that Trump withdrew from in 2018 before imposing sanctions on the country.

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