Iran insists on choice for UN envoy despite US denial of visa

Hamid Abutalebi, Iran's proposed UN ambassador, gestures in this undated handout photo provided by President.ir. Iran on Saturday dismissed a US decision to deny a visa to its proposed new envoy to the United Nations, saying it would take up the
Hamid Abutalebi, Iran's proposed UN ambassador, gestures in this undated handout photo provided by President.ir. Iran on Saturday dismissed a US decision to deny a visa to its proposed new envoy to the United Nations, saying it would take up the case directly with the United Nations. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Iran on Saturday dismissed a US decision to deny a visa to its proposed new envoy to the United Nations, saying it would take up the case directly with the United Nations.

"We do not have a replacement for Mr Abutalebi and we will pursue the matter via legal mechanisms anticipated in the United Nations," Mr Abbas Araghchi, a senior Foreign Ministry official and top nuclear negotiator, was quoted by Iran's official IRNA news agency as saying.

The United States said on Friday it would not grant a visa to Mr Hamid Abutalebi, citing the envoy's links to the 1979-1981 hostage crisis.

The veteran diplomat has acknowledged that he acted as an interpreter for the militants who held the hostages.