UNITED STATES−The United States government under the request of Secretary of Defense, Mike Pompeo, denied a visa of Iran’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Zarif had been the chief negotiator in official nuclear talks with the United States and was expected to speak at a United Nations security counsel meeting in New York on Thursday, January 9.
The meeting was scheduled prior to the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, Quds Force; which is a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization. Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and in the region. President Donald Trump and Pompeo have both spoken about the numerous deaths of American soldiers orchestrated by Soleimani.
“We will continue to hold the Islamic Republic of Iran accountable wherever we find their malign activity,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement.
Zarif has been public about his disdain for America posting threatening messages on social media. He told Al Javeera English, a Qatari television news channel, that the U.S. days in the region are “numbered” and pledged retaliation and due course. Zarif mocked Secretary Pompeo calling him an “arrogant clown.”
Huge crowds gathered for the funeral of Soleimani, which led to some people being trampled. During the funeral, some shouted, “America is the great Satan” and “Death to America.”
“What we know is that the US State Secretary [Mike Pompeo], in a call to the Secretary -General of the United Nations, said ‘We did not have time to issue a visa for Mohammad Javad Zarif and we will not issue a visa,'” said Zarif.
In video footage from an interview with CBS senior news correspondent, Elizabeth Palmer, Zarif talked about his visa being denied saying it is to be expected and asked, “What are they afraid of?”
Zarif called the denied access to the U.S. a violation of the 1947 headquarter agreement. He led the only documented protest in history 40 years ago against the existence of the U.S.A.
Former Secretary of State, John Kerry has ties to the foreign diplomat. According to reports, Kerry’s daughter, Dr. Vanessa Bradford Kelly married Dr. Brian, whose Persian birth name is, Behrooz Vala Nahid. He is a Iranian-American physician. Zarif’s son served as the best man at their wedding.