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Iran Criticizes U.S. Visa Ban On Envoy

Hamid Abutalebi
A spokesman for Iran's mission to the United Nations says the U.S. decision to refuse a visa to Iran's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations was "regrettable."

Hamid Babaei said in a statement the U.S. move was "in contravention of international law."

White House spokesman Jay Carney said on April 11 the United Nations and Iran had been told "that we will not issue a visa" to Hamid Abutalebi.

The U.S. government objects to Abutalebi's nomination because of his suspected participation in a Muslim student group that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days starting in 1979, when the group seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Aboutalebi has insisted he was not part of the hostage-taking in November 1979. He has acknowledged he served a limited role as a translator for the students.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters