UNITED NATIONS, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations hoped that the visa denial incident between the United States and Iran would "be resolved bilaterally," a UN spokesman said on Friday.
"This was a bilateral issue between the two countries and that the United Nations hoped it would be resolved bilaterally," said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric at a daily briefing when asked about the decision by the United States to deny a visa to Iran's newly appointed permanent representative to the United Nations.
The United Nations had not been officially approached concerning this matter, Dujarric said, noting that the Host Country Agreement was a public document which clearly lays out responsibilities.
According to the agreement, as host country for the United Nations, the United States must provide rights to persons invited to the New York headquarters.
The Whited House said on Friday the United States has informed Iran that it would not grant a visa to its newly appointed UN ambassador Hamid Aboutalebi, a member of the group responsible for the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation by unanimous consent that would ban Aboutalebi from entering the United States. The vote came after the Senate passed a companion bill on Monday.
Lawmakers sponsoring the bill said that Aboutalebi should be banned from entry to the United States because he was a member of the militant group that held 52 Americans hostage when it seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.
Iran's Foreign Ministry has slammed the U.S. stance on the new ambassador as "unacceptable."