Tehran has lodged a formal protest against Washington for deliberately preventing a senior Iranian diplomat from attending a key nuclear conference in New York.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh missed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, which kicked off on May 3, after officials in Washington refused to issue him a US entry visa.
In a letter addressed to the UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaei said US officials “took advantage of their position as hosts of the world body when they decided to deny Akhoundzadeh an entry visa.”
“By denying Akhoundzadeh a visa to the United States, Washington officials kept a high-ranking Iranian diplomat from participating in a major conference on the review of the 40-year-old NPT,” he added in his Friday letter.
Khazaei said Akhoundzadeh’s presence in the meeting was crucial, primarily because of “his role as supervisor of Iran’s relations with the UN and secondly because of the meeting’s sharp focus on Tehran’s nuclear issue.”
He further added that Washington had defied its statutory obligation to issue visas for envoys of all UN member states, seeking to press forward its political agenda and apply pressure on certain countries.