Iran General NewsIran parliament president scraps US trip over visa problems

Iran parliament president scraps US trip over visa problems

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AFP: Iranian parliament’s president has decided not to to attend a United Nations conference in New York next week due to a delay in
the delivery of his visa, a foreign affairs spokesman here said Tuesday. AFP

TEHRAN – Iranian parliament’s president has decided not to to attend a United Nations conference in New York next week due to a delay in the delivery of his visa, a foreign affairs spokesman here said Tuesday.

Gholam Ali Hadad-Adel, a top Iranian hardliner, had been due to attend the Second World Conference of Speakers of Parliament at the United Nations’ New York headquarters from September 7-9.

“The parliament head has decided, with dignity, not to go the United States,” because the Americans have been tardy in delivering his visa, said Iranian foreign affairs spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi, the Iranian student new agency Isna reported.

According to Assefi, Iranian officials informed the US authorities two months ago of the planned visit.

“Last week, after contradictory information on the failure to deliver a visa, we protested… but finally on Monday the Swiss ambassador in Tehran informed us that the visa would be delivered Tuesday.”

The Swiss have been representing US interests in Tehran since the breaking of diplomatic ties between the two countries folowing the 1979 hostage taking at the US embassy in Tehran.

“Our friends today (Tuesday) went to the embassy to obtain the visa but were told that it would finally be delivered on Wednesday due to bureaucratic problems and because Monday was a holiday in the United States… The attitude of the Americans has been an insult and uncivilised,” Assafi said.

He added that the US attitude effectively “takes hostage international organisations including those whose headquarters are situated on its soil”.

On August 11, US President George W. Bush said Iran’s new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would likely be able to attend the UN General Assembly later in September despite allegations that he may have been involved in the 1979 hostage-taking at the US embassy in Tehran.

Iran’s foreign ministry alleged Saturday the US State Department had denied entry to Hadad-Adel and it called for the United Nations to move its headquarters out of the United States.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi had called the alleged visa denial “ugly and unethical”, arguing the US “has shown it does not have the legal credentials to host an international body”.

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