By Denying Iran’s Foreign Minister Visa For Security Council Visit, America Has Lost Moral Right To Serve As Home For UN

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Above Photo: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif takes take part in a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, 2019 © Reuters / Mike Segar

US officials have long used visa rejections to humiliate political adversaries who have to travel to New York to attend the United Nations. Enough is enough.

Sanctioning Zarif

The US government has apparently denied Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif a visa to enter the United States in order to attend a January 9 UN Security Council meeting. The subject to be discussed wasn’t Iran but something far more anodyne: “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Upholding the UN Charter.” Zarif had applied for a visa long before the current turmoil in relations between Washington and Tehran.

Iran’s foreign minister is currently under US sanctions. The sanctions, imposed in July 2019, “froze” whatever assets Zarif may have in the United States (Zarif has none).

While the US did not prevent Zarif from attending the opening of the UN General Assembly last September, his presence on US soil today is evidently too much for the US government to bear.

The United States serves as host country to the United Nations and, according to the agreement it signed with the United Nations in 1947, it has no right to stipulate whom UN member-states can and whom they cannot send to the UN to speak on their behalf.

This applies “irrespective of the relations existing between the governments of the persons referred to…and the government of the United States.” Furthermore, “The appropriate American authorities shall afford any necessary protection to such persons while in transit to or from the headquarters district.”

Washington’s loophole

US Secret Service snipers take positions on buildings near the UN headquarters in New York © Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

  • larrysherk

    It’s a clear-cut case. The United States is in no position to host the United Nations. The UN should go somewhere it’s wanted. Most honest countries would be delighted and honored.

  • Harriet Heywood

    Wonder what took them so long

  • Constance Willard Godin

    First thing I thought when I heard this news.

  • chetdude

    May I suggest the new location for the United Nations be the only country I know of that does NOT have a standing army, Costa Rica.

    Although, all of that might ruin Costa Rica… 🙁

    So OK, Geneva would work…although their health care system is entirely privatized and therefore not as good as France’s and other hybrid systems…