March 23, 2007, RFE/RL -- Tehran says Washington has so far failed to provide a promised visa to Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad so he can address the UN Security Council in New York when it meets to vote on proposed new sanctions against Iran.
However, the U.S. government said today that it has approved visas for Ahmadinejad and other diplomats -- disputing Tehran's claim. The U.S. State Department had already announced on March 19 that visas had been granted for Ahmadinejad and 38 aides and bodyguards.
The vote is expected to take place on March 24.
Ahmadinejad has said he will present "new proposals" to end the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.
President mahmoud Ahmadinejad decided to go to New York to defend Iranian right at the Security Council debate on Iranian nuclear program on Saturday.
Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Abbas Araghchi expressed regret at absence of cooperation on part of the US Administration for issuing visa for the Iranian president.
"Despite completing application formality for the visa and the US Administration officials promises to grant visa at the earliest possible time, the visa is not available for the time being. It should have been issued sometime ago," he said.
"It seems the US Administration is following its unilateral approach by visa refusal for the Iranian president. It is blatant violation of the consular undertaking of the UN host country in dealing with visa requests for officials of the United Nations Member States and another indication of the US ill-intention toward Iranian nuclear program."
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