Iran's envoy to UN sends Guterres letter of protest over US refusal to grant visa to Zarif
Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, asking him to intervene in the situation over the United States' refusal to grant a visa to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to participate in the UN Security Council meeting this week, Sputnik reports.
On Tuesday, the United Nations informed Tehran that the US would not issue Zarif his visa. Iran submitted an application for the visa on December 10, a day after the foreign minister received an invitation to attend the UN Security Council meeting on Thursday.
"The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United States strongly protests to the Host Country and expresses its deep concern over its repeated failure to abide by its legal obligations as well as its persistent attempt to use the seat of the United Nations Headquarters as political leverage against certain countries," the letter, obtained by Sputnik, read.
The statement added that Washington did not respond appropriately to the concern and the UN legal position on the refusal to issue visas or illegal restrictions on the part of the US with respect to some member states.
"Under the current circumstances, available legal remedies need to be employed to correct this violation of international law," Ravanchi said in the letter.
The ambassador added that Tehran was firmly convinced that the continued US failure to fulfil its obligations, which affected the work of Iranian representatives at the UN, confirms that there is a legal dispute between the host country, the UN and Iran.
"Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran once again invites your Excellency to intervene under Section 21 of the Headquarters Agreement in order to reach a settlement of such a dispute, which already has put into the question the credibility of the UN system," the letter read.
According to the host country agreement, the United States - being a host country - should not impose any obstacles on the movement to or from the UN headquarters district of officials from UN member states who seek to attend the United Nations’ events.