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Zarif Denies Iran's UN Ambassador Was Target Of 'Biological Terror' Attempt

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iranian UN ambassador. File photo

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied on Monday that Tehran envoy to U.N., Majid Takht-Ravanchi, has fallen victim to a biological terror attack.

Earlier, several members of Majles (Iranian parliament) had called for an investigation to see if Takht-Ravanchi had been the target of a biological assassination attempt.

Speaking to parliament’s news website Zarif insisted that Takht-Ravanchi was diagnosed with cancer immediately after being appointed as the Islamic Republic's permanent envoy to the U.N.

"Mr. Takht-Ravanchi was diagnosed with cancer after departing for [U.N. mission in] New York, and he was not aware of his illness while in Iran," Zarif said on Monday.

"If we were aware of his condition, we would have started the treatment in Iran, but the diagnosis was made in America, and his doctor emphasized the need for immediate surgery," Zarif told ICANA, adding, "He has undergone surgery in New York and is now receiving chemotherapy."

Furthermore, Zarif reiterated, "I reject the rumors of a biological terror attack against Mr. Takht Ravanchi."

The absence of Takht-Ravanchi beside the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani in September in the U.N. General assembly (UNGA), triggered a series of speculations and rumors concerning his well-being.

The speculations gained momentum when Zarif was banned from visiting Takht-Ravanchi in a hospital in New York just outside a small part of NYC in which Zarif and other members of the Iranian delegation were permitted to travel.

"Iran has wrongfully detained several U.S. citizens for years, to the pain of their families and friends they cannot freely visit," a State Department spokesperson explained, September 27, adding, "We have relayed to the Iranian mission that the travel request will be granted if Iran releases a U.S. citizen."