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Iran's Foreign Minister Confirms US Denied Visa To Attend UN Meeting In New York

Zarif sits in the General Assembly Hall to listen to an address by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 24, 2019. FILE PHOTO

Speaking to reporters on January 7, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif confirmed that the United States, which he called a "rogue regime" has denied him a visa to attend a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Tehran Dialogue Forum, the Iranian Foreign Minister said the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has told him that according to the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a visa will not be issued to him to attend the meeting due to time constraints.

The Security Council meeting on Thursday which is planned to debate "Upholding the Charter of the United Nations to maintain international security and peace" was proposed by Vietnam and will be chaired by its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Binh Minh.

The Iranian Foreign Minister said he had been invited to the meeting long ago and added: "But the Americans are trying to suggest that the meeting was called after the assassination of martyr Soleimani and they don't have time to issue a visa. The visa application was sent several weeks ago. They definitely had enough time".

Referring to the UN 1947 Headquarters Agreement which obliges the United States to allow access to the UN for foreign diplomats Zarif said: "The Security Council meeting was a good opportunity to discuss the U.S. crimes, but a government that carries out state and economic terrorism and threatens with war crimes and crimes against humanity does not care about violating the provisions of the UN headquarters agreement" and added that the Secretary-General has told the Pompeo that Iran has a right to participate in the meeting.

The U.S. State Department has yet not made an official statement about the issue yet.

Zarif who last traveled to New York in September to attend the UN General Assembly also alleged that the United States is afraid of "someone telling the truth to the American people in the United Nations" and added; "But one can speak to the American people from Tehran too and we will do that".

Washington has on some occasions denied access to the United Nations headquarters in New York including the refusal to allow Iranian ambassador-in-waiting Hamid Aboutalebi in April 2014, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir in 2014 and Palestine leader Yassir Arafat in 1988.