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US Denies Visa To Iran's Foreign Minister To Attend UN Meeting

The US has reportedly denied a visa to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, meant for attending a Security Council meeting in New York on December 9.

US

Amid heightened tension, the United States has reportedly denied a visa to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meant for attending a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting in New York on December 9. After the top Iranian military commander was killed by US forces, Zarif said that it was beginning of the end of “malign US presence” in West Asia. 

The Iranian Foreign Minister has accused US President Donald Trump of violating international law and contempt for UN Charter and wanted to raise the issue in the meeting. The US is bound to allow foreign diplomats to the United Nations under a special headquarters agreement, signed in 1947, but Washington said that it holds discretion for “security, terrorism and foreign policy" reasons. 

Read: PM Modi Highlights Growth In India-US Ties, Conveys New Year Wishes To Trump

Threat to target 52 sites

War of words between Zarif and Trump started after the death of Soleimani and the latter threatened Iran of attacking 52 sites. Zarif said that the US has once again committed to violating the fundamental principle of international law and targetting country's cultural sites would be a ‘war crime’. Zarif had lashed out at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump saying they should not even bother to refer law dictionary.

Read: Iran Foreign Affairs Minister Javad Zarif Responds To Trump's Threat With Protest Pictures

Meanwhile, US Homeland Security updated its terror advisory, expiring on January 18, saying an attack may come with little or no warning, adding that Iran and its partners have demonstrated the intent and capability to conduct operations in the United States. However, it maintained that it does not have information indicating a specific, credible threat to the Homeland.

Chad Wolf, the Acting Secretary of US Homeland Security, pointed at the threats publicly stated by Iranian leadership and affiliated extremist organizations. Wolf said that Iran prefers terrorist activities to retaliate and it has targeted United States interests through its partners like Hezbollah. Wolf also feared that “homegrown violent extremists” could launch individual attacks amid heightened tensions.

Read: Iran President Hassan Rouhani Breaks Silence, Reminds Trump Of IR655

Read: Iran: Man Announces $80 Mn Bounty On Trump's Head After Soleimani's Killing

(With inputs from agencies)

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