The United States has not issued visas to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s aides and the team of reporters who planned to travel with him to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
Visas for the Iranian delegation was delayed and a few days earlier Tehran had said the whole trip might be cancelled. But at least Rouhani’s visa has been issues and he flies to New York on September 23, but its is not clear how many people will accompany him.
Iran’s semi-official ISNA news website reported September 22 that Rouhani’s visa is also restricted, allowing him only to travel between his place of lodging in Manhattan, the U.N. headquarters and the Iranian mission.
Iranian Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also told CBS network’s Face the Nation today that his visa was also issued grudgingly. “So they made it very clear in a letter that they attached to my visa that I'm not eligible to get a visa, but they're doing it on a waiver basis. So they want me to know that I'm not supposed to be here”, Zarif said during the interview.
Before the September 14 attack on Saudi Arabia's oil installations there were hopes that President Donald Trump might meet Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN meeting. But in the current tense situation a meeting seems to be highly improbable.
Asked if he thinks the United States and Iran can avoid a war, Zarif replied, “No. No, I'm not confident that we can avoid a war. We- I'm confident that we will not start one but I'm confident that whoever starts one will not be the one who finishes it.”