US Refrains to Issue Visa for Ahmadinejad to Attend UN

A0226832.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- The United States has once again stonewalled the visa process for the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attend the United Nations General Assembly later this month in New York.

Despite a timely application, no visas have yet been issued for the president and any of the Iranian delegation members.

Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 23 and expected to once again refer to the need for amending the status quo of the UN, which he says is controlled by world powers, especially the US.

An agreement signed between the United States and the United Nations years ago requires Washington to allow foreign leaders to speak before the world body. The agreement requires visas for heads of states visiting the UN headquarters to be granted as promptly as possible.

Ahmadinejad had the same problem last year when he wanted to go to New York. The US last year purposefully delayed the process to disrupt the president’s travel schedule.

The visas were eventually issued but only for a limited number of the Iranian delegation. Many journalists, including FNA reporters were refrained the entry visa to the US to cover the event.

The upcoming visit would be Ahmadinejad’s fourth to New York since he ascended to power in August 2005.

During his last trip in September 2007, Ahmadinejad requested to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center, the site of the September 11 attacks, to pay tribute to the victims of the tragedy. His bid, however, was rejected by city officials.

The United States and Iran broke diplomatic relations in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the United States’ espionage center at its embassy in the heart of Tehran. The two countries have had tense relations ever since.

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