The U.S. State Department has reportedly granted a visa to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif so he can attend a meeting this week at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
Two sources told Reuters that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo approved the visa, allowing Zarif to “attend a ministerial meeting at the United Nations on sustainable development goals, which aim to tackle issues including conflict, hunger, gender equality and climate change by 2030.”
Pompeo told the Washington Post on Sunday that Zarif and the delegation accompanying him would be allowed to travel within six blocks of the Iranian mission to the United Nations and U.N. headquarters.
“U.S. diplomats don’t roam around Tehran, so we don’t see any reason for Iranian diplomats to roam freely around New York City, either,” he said.
Pompeo added that Zarif, considered last month as a target for U.S. sanctions, might try to spread “malign propaganda” during his visit to New York.
“This is a leader who has supported a regime that jails political dissidents, treats women horribly. They go after peaceful worshipers. He’s the mouthpiece of that autocracy. And they suppress free speech,” Pompeo said.
The secretary said that he, in turn, would like an opportunity to appear on Iranian state television so he could tell the Iranian people America cares “deeply” about then and understands “the revolutionary theocracy is not acting in a way that is in their best interest.”