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U.S. Denies Visas to Iranians Coming to UN General Assembly

The U.S. has denied entry visas to 20 Iranian officials accompanying Ahmadinejad to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/23/2012, 5:02 AM

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Flash 90

The U.S. denied entry visas to two Iranian ministers and other members of the delegation accompanying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the Fars news agency reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the U.S. State Department refrained from issuing visas for 20 officials of the 160 people for whom the Iranian government had demanded entry visas two months ago.

Among those for whom the U.S. didn't issue visas were two deputies of the Iranian President's Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashayee as well as two ministers of President Ahmadinejad's cabinet.

Fars noted that the U.S. has several times denied entry visa to Iranian officials for UN General Assembly meetings.

The report said that Ahmadinejad and his accompanying delegation left Tehran for New York on Saturday, adding that over 150 security officers will guarantee Ahmadinejad's security during his stay in New York.

President Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on September 26, which also happens to be Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

The Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center announced this past week that it is suing an upscale Manhattan hotel that has agreed to host Ahmadinejad during his visit to New York City.

Shurat HaDin filed a motion in Manhattan federal court demanding that the Warwick Hotel deny Ahmadinejad a room and instead grant that room to Stuart Hersh, a Shurat HaDin client who has yet to receive the $12 million judgment owed to him by Iran after he was injured in a 1997 Hamas suicide bombing in Jerusalem. A U.S. court found Iran liable for financially supporting that attack in 2003.