Iran protests UN ambassador ban to United Nations

UNITED NATIONS - Iran has formally protested Washington's refusal to grant a visa to its new U.N. ambassador.

Iran's U.N. Mission sent a letter to the U.N.'s Committee on Relations with the Host Country and released a copy of it Monday night. The committee can hold a hearing on the issue but cannot change the U.S. decision.

The U.S. State Department and White House have said that Iran's selection of Hamid Aboutalebi to be its United Nations envoy is not acceptable.

Aboutalebi was a member of the group responsible for the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. Aboutalebi has insisted his involvement in the group was limited to translation and negotiation.

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