Iran Has No Plans to Name Another U.S. Ambassador, Is Likely to Challenge Visa Ban Through Legal Channels

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran says it has no plans to name a new diplomat to the United Nations after the United States blocked the man Tehran chose.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi is quoted by the semiofficial Mehr news agency as saying Saturday that the Islamic Republic instead seeks to challenge the U.S. decision through legal channels.

Iranian Flag
Soldiers raise an Iranian flag Monday, July 23, 2012 during the Flag Raising ceremony for Iran at the Olympic Village in London four days before the start of the London 2012 Summer Olympics. (AP)

The U.S. blocked Iran’s pick because it alleges Hamid Aboutalebi took part in the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, in which 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days.

Aboutalebi says he was only a translator when militant students stormed the Embassy. Iran says he is one of the country’s best diplomats, and that he previously received a U.S. visa. He has already served at Iranian diplomatic missions in Australia, Belgium and Italy.