US severs bilateral relations, denies Iran’s minister visa

by Akeem Alao
United States Trump administration has denied a visa to Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. The denial was aimed at preventing him from addressing the United Nations Security Council on Jan. 9 on the assassination of Iran’s top military officer in Baghdad. According to diplomatic sources, the U.S. government’s actions would constitute a clear violation of the terms of a 1947 agreement requiring Washington to allow foreign officials to enter the country to conduct U.N. business. Zarif applied for a visa “a few weeks ago” to enter the U.S. to attend a Jan. 9 Security Council meeting on the importance of upholding the U.N. Charter. The meeting would have been an opportunity for Tehran’s top diplomat to address the international community since the U.S. president ordered the Jan. 3 attack that killed Major General Qassem Soleimani. Iran’s mission to the United Nations said: “We have seen the media reports, but we have not received any official communication from either the U.S. or the U.N. regarding Foreign Minister Zarif’s visa.” However, a Trump administration official told U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the U.S. would not allow Zarif to enter the country. This is a move that comes at a time of high tension between both countries, as Iran has sworn to avenge the murder of Soleimani.

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