Hamid Aboutalebi

Iran says Hamid Aboutalebi will remain Iran’s envoy to the UN despite recent opposition expressed by the U.S. Senate over allowing Aboutalebi to enter U.S. territory and White House spokesman Jay Carney calling the appointment “extremely troubling.”

Marzieh Afkham, a spokeswoman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, said Aboutalebi will remain Iran’s envoy to the UN, adding that in fact he has been issued a U.S. visa in the past.

She added that Aboutalebi is one of Iran’s chief and senior diplomats who, in the nineties, was issued a visa by the U.S. government to attend official UN meetings.

On Monday, the U.S. Senate approved a bill to prevent Aboutalebi from entering the U.S. because of his alleged involvement in the hostage crisis at the U.S. embassy in Iran in 1979.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani appointed Aboutalebi as Iran’s new envoy to the United Nations.

Aboutalebi has already served as Iranian ambassador to Italy, Belgium and Australia.