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Tuesday, 8 April 2014 | MYT 7:50 PM

Iran dismisses U.S. ban on diplomat

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran on Tuesday played down a move by the U.S. Senate to bar its new choice as U.N. ambassador from entering the United States, saying it would wait for a decision on the matter from the U.S. administration.

Under a bill seeking to bar "known terrorists" from entering U.S. soil, the Democratic-controlled Senate narrowly passed a measure on Monday to refuse entry to Hamid Abutalebi due to his alleged role in the 1979-1981 hostage crisis, during which Iranian radical students held U.S. Embassy staff for 444 days.

Iran's foreign ministry dismissed the move.

"We have chosen our ambassador... and are in contact with U.S. government for visa issuance. Any decisions to be made in this regard will be based on official diplomatic sources," it said.

(Reporting by Mehrdad Balali; Editing by Angus MacSwan)


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