Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Iran's speaker cancels US trip over visa delay

The Peninsula:
The speaker of Iran's parliament yesterday cancelled plans to visit New York for a UN meeting because of delays in receiving a US visa, state television quoted a senior official as saying.

Gholamali Haddadadel was to join a meeting of parliamentary delegations in New York, with speakers from 150 states gathering for a two-day meeting on September 7. But as his US visa was not issued yesterday, Haddadadel decided to cancel the US visit. READ MORE

Television quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi as saying the delay was "an insult and is not compatible with international norms."

Asefi said the visa would be ready today but that Haddadadel had decided to cancel the visit because of the delay in receiving the document.

The Swiss embassy has handled US interests in Iran since Washington cut ties with Tehran in 1980.

Asefi called on international community to reconsider holding meetings in the United States, accusing Washington of using such measures to pressure other countries.

The United States and Iran have been at odds since 1979 when 52 Americans were held hostage by Iranian student militants at the US embassy in Tehran for 444 days after the Islamic revolution.