Iranian President Hassan Rohani has reportedly selected Tehran’s next ambassador to the United Nations – a man who was a member of the militant group that held 52 Americans hostage in Iran for 444 days.
Reports by the Reuters news agency and "Business Week" quote unnamed Iranian sources at the UN headquarters in New York as saying that Hamid Abutalebi will replace outgoing ambassador Mohammad Khazaee.
A spokesman for Iran’s UN mission declined to comment.
There was no immediate confirmation from Tehran about Abutalebi’s appointment.
Abutalebi previously served as Iran’s ambassador to Italy, Belgium, and Australia.
Abutalebi has been quoted as saying he did not take part in the initial 1979 occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
But he says he later acted as a translator and negotiator in the crisis.
Based on reporting by Reuters, Business Week, and Khabaronline