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Americas

Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

© AFP file picture

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-18

US President Barack Obama signed a law that will block an Iranian diplomat from serving as a United Nations envoy. The White House has said that the proposed ambassador, Hamid Aboutalebi, was involved in the 1979-81 Tehran hostage crisis.

Obama signed a law passed by the US Congress that bars any individual from entering the US who has engaged in espionage or terrorist activity against the US, or any person who poses a threat to American national security.

The United States had already said it would not grant a visa to Aboutalebi, citing his involvement when a Muslim student group seized the American embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Aboutalebi has insisted he was not part of the hostage-taking but has admitted he served a limited role as a translator for the students.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-04-18

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