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Document: Did the U.S. Even Have the Authority to Bar Iranian Leaders From U.N. Summit? Did the U.S. Even Have the Authority to Ba...
In the run-up to next week’s annual United Nations summit, Tehran complained that a State Department delay in issuing U.S. visas to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to attend the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly might cause the leaders to cancel their visit.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hinted that the United States might block them from coming, citing their alleged role in mounting a sophisticated drone and missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations—an attack Iran says it played no role in. “The actions that the Iranian regime took violated the U.N. charter,” Pompeo said Wednesday during a trip to Saudi Arabia. “If you’re connected to a foreign terrorist organization, it seems to me it would be a reasonable thing to think about whether they ought to be prevented to attend a meeting which is about peace.”
But U.S. President Donald Trump, who has sought unsuccessfully to arrange a meeting with Rouhani on the sidelines of the General Assembly debate, made it clear he had no objections to the Iranian leader visiting U.N. headquarters. “If it was up to me, I would let them come. I’ve always felt the United Nations is very important,” he said Wednesday. “I would certainly not want to keep people out if they want to come.”
Zarif is scheduled to arrive in New York Friday afternoon, and Rouhani will join him on Monday, according to an Iranian source.
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