U.S.-Iran relations thawing somewhat glacially

State Department (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
State Department
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Word from Tehran is that veteran Iranian diplomat Hamid Aboutalebi, formerly that country’s emissary to Italy, to Australia and now to the United Nations, can’t seem to get his U.S. visa. He’s apparently been waiting for months and no one in Tehran is quite sure why the delay.

The Iranians are, we’re told, wondering how the apparently new spirit of dialogue and  openness is being reciprocated if Tehran is not going to be able to get its top official into his office at the United Nations — which is, presumably,  a player in the new  diplomatic thaw (if any).

We checked with the State Department, where a spokesperson, somewhat mysteriously, told us: “The Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits us from disclosing details of individual visa cases.  All visa applications are reviewed individually in accordance with the requirements of U.S. immigration law.”

Hmm. . . . Well, we wouldn’t want anyone to violate U.S. immigration law.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.
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