The White House has announced that it will not issue a visa for Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran’s new envoy to the United Nations.
U.S. officials have taken issue with Aboutalebi’s involvement in the 1979 hostage crisis in Iran, and the U.S. Congress has passed a bill to prevent him from entering the United States.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that the White House is aligned with Congress on this issue; however, he did not confirm whether the U.S. president will sign the bill.
Aboutalebi has maintained that while he did act as translator for the students that took over the U.S. embassy in Iran in 1979, he did not have any direct involvement in the event.
Jay Carney said yesterday that while they do not consider Aboutalebi an appropriate appointee, the disagreement over his appointment as Iran’s UN representative will not affect the current nuclear talks with Iran.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been severed since shortly after the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy in Iran.