No Change in Iran’s Nominee for UN Post
(FNA)- Iranian Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht strongly rejected media reports claiming that Tehran has introduced a new ambassador to the UN after Washington refused to issue visa for its pick for the post, and said Hamid Aboutalebi is still Iran's nominee.
"Aboutalebi is still the representative introduced by the government for the post at the UN," Nobakht told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.
He expressed the hope that the government's follow-ups against the US administration's "illogical and illegal" act would yield results.
In recent days some foreign media, including Business Week, have reported that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may name his American-educated chief of staff Mohammad Nahavandian to be the country’s next envoy to the United Nations, after the US denied a visa to his previous choice, Hamid Aboutalebi.
Business Week claimed in a recent report that President "Rouhani is considering Mohammad Nahavandian, 60, who holds a PhD in economics from George Washington University, for the position, according to two UN Security Council diplomats and one European diplomat, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to comment".
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham strongly rejected the report, and said, "No new person has been named as the Islamic Republic of Iran's envoy to the UN."
The US Senate approved a measure in April to bar Iran's proposed ambassador to the UN from entering the US.
The bill, sponsored by Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, was passed by the Democratic-controlled chamber by a voice vote.
The Senate took the measure to deny Hamid Aboutalebi an entry visa over his possible involvement in the US Embassy takeover in Tehran following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
On November 4, 1979, a group of Iranian university students took over the US Embassy in Tehran, which they believed had turned into a “den of espionage”. Documents found at the compound later corroborated the claims by the students.
Also on Monday, Iranian Vice-President for Communications and Information Parviz Esmayeeli also strongly rejected the Business Week report.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran's envoy (Aboutalebi) has earlier been introduced and no new decision has been made in this regard yet," Esmayeeli wrote in a facebook status on his page.
"This report has been repeatedly rejected by me, (Chief of Staff of President's Office Mohammad) Nahavandian and the foreign ministry spokeswoman in several interviews," he added.