New Iran UN envoy to take up post after US rejects 1st pick

AP News
Posted: Feb 13, 2015 8:35 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran's choice for its ambassador to the United Nations will take up his post next week after the United States declined to issue a visa to Iran's earlier pick for the job last year.

The spokesman for Iran's mission to the U.N., Hamid Babaei, confirmed Friday that Gholam Ali Khoshroo will be in New York next week.

The United Nations said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will receive Khoshroo's credentials on Tuesday afternoon.

President Barack Obama signed legislation last April to block Iran's earlier pick, Hamid Aboutalebi, from entering the United States to become Iran's U.N. ambassador because of his alleged participation in a 1979 student takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Iran protested, saying the U.S. was setting a dangerous precedent by violating the right of sovereign states to designate representatives to the United Nations. Aboutalebi insisted his involvement during the embassy takeover was limited.

Iran at the time refused to name a new envoy but finally announced Khoshroo last month. He previously served as deputy foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations.

Last year's dispute with the Obama administration came at a sensitive time, as Tehran was attempting to thaw relations with Washington and reach agreement with the U.S. and five other world powers on a deal aimed at halting any potential Iranian attempt to build nuclear weapons. That effort continues.