The State Department revealed on Monday that the US has denied Iran’s top diplomat a waiver needed to visit Washington citing Iran’s detention of American citizens and state sponsorship of terrorism, State Department spokesman Matt Miller announced.
According to Miller, Foggy Bottom refused Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s reported request last week to travel to visit Iran’s consular interest section in the US capital following the United Nations General Assembly in New York he attended.
Washington is only obliged to allow Iranian officials and officials of other foreign governments to travel to New York for UN business, but that does not allow them to travel to Washington, DC.
Miller explained that the US doesn’t believe it was either appropriate or necessary to grant Amir-Abdollahian’s request in this instance given Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism and the wrongful detention of US citizens.
Sanctioned officials or diplomats are only permitted by the US to visit New York – home to the UN – but officials from certain countries were often given permission to move freely around certain areas in New York.