After a harrowing week of back and forth threats of war and escalation after the U.S. took out top Iranian general and terrorist sponsor Qasem Soleimani, it’s being reported that the Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif was denied a visa to enter the United States for the purpose of attending a United Nations meeting this Thursday.
Zarif told the Associated Press, “They fear that someone comes to the U.S. and reveals realities. The world is not limited to New York, and you can talk to the American people from Tehran, and we will do that.”
The denial comes just days after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Commander Gholamali Abuhamzeh threatens to target 35 American sites and Tel Aviv in response to the killing of IRG general Soleimani.
Iran remains one of only four nations to be designated a state sponsor of terrorism. The other are North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Soleimani was the leader of the Quds Force, a state designated terrorist organization, and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans over the last two decades.
According to Foreign Policy, the Iranian diplomat was denied his visa after requesting it several weeks ago. Zarif was slated to address the recent drone strike which has been escalating tensions in recent weeks.
They added, the “U.S. Congress… passed legislation in August 1947, the so-called Public Law 80-357, that granted the U.S. government the authority to bar foreign individuals invited by the United Nations to attend meetings at its New York City headquarters if they are deemed to pose a threat to U.S. national security.”
During a press conference on Tuesday morning, Sec. Pompeo told reporters he does not speak about visa applications to the press.
In a twitter rant, Zarif claimed denying him a visa violated the 1947 UNHQ Agreement. The agreement in question authorizes the carryover of U.S. laws on UN territory, meaning our laws are applicable to Zarif, including visa regulations, and he may be denied entry into the United States for threatening harm against the U.S.
He also called Pompeo’s threat to “starve the Iranians” a “crime against humanity,” Trump’s willingness to target Iranian culture sites a “war crime,” and called America’s sanctions “economic terrorism.”
Zarif is referring to the most recent July sanctions levied against Iran, which ramped up the economic blockade against the terror state, severely weakening its economy. Zarif’s appearance at the UN was scheduled to be in opposition to the sanctions, but according to Fox News, he was looking for UN condemnation against the drone strikes which killed Soleimani.
“Conducted ‘at the direction of the President’ of the United States, the assassination of [Soleimani], by any measure, is an obvious example of State terrorism and, as a criminal act, constitutes a gross violation of the fundamental principles of international law, including, in particular, those stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations and thus entails the international responsibility of the United States,” said a letter from Iranian Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi to Secretary-General Guterres and the U.N. Security Council.
The Iranian letter also said that the country “reserves all of its rights under international law to take necessary measures in this regard, in particular in exercising its inherent right to self-defense.”
Tehran also called for the U.N. Security Council to condemn what it called “unlawful” actions from the U.S.
“At the same time, it is incumbent upon the Security Council to uphold its responsibilities and condemn this unlawful criminal act, taking into account the dire implications of such military adventurism and dangerous provocations by the United States on international peace and security,” the letter said.Fox News
Tension between the United States and Iran are not new, and as it is will not be cooling down anytime soon.
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