The United States has issued visas allowing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to travel to New York for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations next week.
Iran’s foreign minister spokesman said in a tweet that Zarif was set to leave for New York on Friday.
A spokesman for the Iranian mission to the UN said that if the visas are not issued by the end of the week, Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad Javad Zarif would not be able to come to the summit, which is attended by heads of state and government from around the world.
A UN spokesman said that under the host country agreement, the US is required to issue visas to representatives of UN member states who come to New York for official UN business.
Javad Zarif said earlier on Thursday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was trying to delay issuing visas for the Iranian delegation to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had declined to comment specifically on the case on Wednesday, saying “We don’t talk about granting or absence of granting of visas.”
“If you’re connected to a foreign terrorist organization, I don’t know,” he added. “Seems to me it would be a reason to think about whether they have to be permitted to attend a meeting which is about peace.”
As the host government, the US generally is obliged to issue visas to diplomats who serve at UN headquarters.