WASHINGTON - The White House said on Friday that an Iranian official who was in the student group that took US diplomats hostage in 1979 will not be issued a visa to allow him to become Iran's ambassador to the United Nations.

President Barack Obama had come under strong pressure from the US Congress not to allow Hamid Aboutaleb into the country. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United Nations and Iran had been told "that we will not issue a visa to Mr. Aboutaleb."

The decision effectively bars Aboutaleb of taking up the UN position.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger