U.S. Denies Iran’s FM Zarif A Visa To Attend U.N.

The United States has denied a visa to Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ahead of a United Nations Security Council meeting in New York on Thursday, a U.S. official said according to Reuters.

The U.S. State Department did not respond to this reporter’s request for comment to confirm that Zarif’s visa was denied. The story will be updated if there is a response.

Zarif addressed the U.N. General Assembly in April 2019. During his speech, he condemned the U.S. for reducing Iranian oil exports as part of a sanctions package following it’s pullout from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) in May 2018. Moreover,  Zarif called on the international body “to deny the United States any perceived benefit from its unlawful unilateralism.”

“The United States is also punishing those who seek to fulfill their multilateral obligations under Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls for normalization of economic relations with Iran,” Zarif said while speaking at the U.N.

In July 2019, President Donald Trump signed a sanctions package targeting the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and anyone who worked with him and his office.

Zarif was sanctioned by the Executive Order shortly thereafter since he “acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” according to the U.S. Treasury.

In recent days, with the U.S. targeted killing of the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, last week in Baghdad, Iraq, tensions have heightened between the two countries.

On Tuesday, the Iranian parliament doubled down by designating the U.S. military and Pentagon terrorist organizations and passed a $220 million budget bill for Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards Corp’s (IRGC) Quds Force to avenge the U.S. for the killing.