Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Sep. 03 Irans Foreign Ministry and senior officials reacted harshly to the decision by the United States not to grant visas to senior Iranian officials to travel to New York in mid-September to take part in an international parliamentary meeting. Iran Focus
Tehran, Iran, Sep. 03 Irans Foreign Ministry and senior officials reacted harshly to the decision by the United States not to grant visas to senior Iranian officials to travel to New York in mid-September to take part in an international parliamentary meeting.
Among the officials banned by the U.S. State Department from entering the United States was Irans Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel. Adel, a hard-liner, is closely allied to Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The two are also related; Adels daughter is married to Khameneis son.
The radical Majlis Speaker is no stranger to diplomatic controversy. In July, he had to cancel his visit to Italy after a string of strongly-worded statements by senior Italian cabinet ministers on Irans presidential elections. His visit to Belgium turned into a fiasco over his refusal to attend an official dinner hosted by his Belgian counterpart, because wine was being served. Belgiums Senate president cancelled her meeting with Adel when he said he would refuse to shake hands with her.
On Saturday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi used strong words to criticise the U.S. decision.
With this immoral act, America has shown that it is incompetent to host international institutions, he said.
Irans new Minister of Justice was equally harsh in condemning the decision. This action by the U.S. is against international laws and norms, Jamal Karimi-Rad said.
An influential hard-line ally of Haddad Adel said the Americans were afraid of letting our delegation attend the inter-parliamentary meeting. Hossein Shariatmadari, a former general of the Revolutionary Guards and the editor-in-chief of the daily Kayhan, said U.S. officials were fearful, because the Iranian delegation planned to reveal some important secrets related to recent developments on the global scene.
Firebrand Shiite cleric Moussa Ghorbani, a hard-line deputy, had also been expected to travel to New York with Haddad Adel.
Analysts said the U.S. decision was significant, as it highlighted intransigent Irans increasing isolation on the international scene.