Jan 7, 2020
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Iranian foreign minister fumes over reported visa denial for UN meetings in New York


Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif fumed Tuesday over the reported U.S. decision to deny him a visa to address the United Nations in New York later this week, amid escalating tensions between the two countries after the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.“They fear that someone comes to the U.S. and reveals realities,” Zarif told The Associated Press. “The world is not limited to New York, and you can talk to the American people from Tehran, and we will do that.”SOLEIMANI FUNERAL STAMPEDE IN IRAN LEAVES AT LEAST 40 DEAD, STATE TV REPORTSHe later claimed in a tweet that denying him a visa was in violation of the 1947 United Nations Headquarters agreement that established the international body’s base of operations in New York. That agreement requires the U.S. to permit foreign diplomats from other countries to conduct U.N. business. He also listed a series of allegations against the U.S., including “economic terrorism” and “cowardly assassination.”“But what are they really afraid of? Truth?” he asked.Foreign Policy reported that a Trump administration official called U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday to inform him that the United States would not allow Zarif into the country.The State Department did not immediately confirm the reported denial of Zarif’s visa. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to address journalists at 10 a.m. ET.Soleimani, the head of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds force and the mastermind of its military and terror strategies abroad, was killed early Friday local time in a U.S. strike in Iraq directed by President Trump. The U.S. described the killing of Soleimani as a defensive measure to prevent an “imminent attack” on U.S. interests after an attack on the embassy in Baghdad days earlier. But it has sparked a furious reaction and threats of revenge and retaliation from Tehran.Zarif was due to speak at the U.N. Security Council on Thursday in a debate that was planned before the Soleimani strike on Friday. He was sanctioned by the U.S. in July, which included a ban from traveling to the U.S.IRAN DEMANDS UN CONDEMN US KILLING OF SOLEIMANI, SAYS IT ‘RESERVES RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE’The regime began its lobbying efforts to secure U.N. condemnation of the strike just hours after Soleimani’s death, describing it as a “gross violation” of international law and saying it “reserves its inherent right to self-defense.”“Conducted ‘at the direction of the President’ of the United States, the assassination of [Soleimani], by any measure, is an obvious example of State terrorism and, as a criminal act, constitutes a gross violation of the fundamental principles of international law, including, in particular, those stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations and thus entails the international responsibility of the United States,” said a letter from Iranian Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi to Secretary-General Guterres and the U.N. Security Council.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a forum titled “Common Security in the Islamic World” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in August.
(AP)CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APPThe Iranian letter also said that the country “reserves all of its rights under international law to take necessary measures in this regard, in particular in exercising its inherent right to self-defense.”Tehran also called for the U.N. Security Council to condemn what it called “unlawful” actions from the U.S.“At the same time, it is incumbent upon the Security Council to uphold its responsibilities and condemn this unlawful criminal act, taking into account the dire implications of such military adventurism and dangerous provocations by the United States on international peace and security,” the letter said.Fox News’ Ben Evansky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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