The White House said on Tuesday that US officials have told Tehran that its new choice for UN ambassador, Hamid Abutalebi, is "not viable," the day after the US Senate passed legislation to bar Abutalebi from entering the United States.

"We've informed the government of Iran that this potential selection is not viable," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, declining to elaborate on whether that would mean that Abutalebi would be barred from the country.

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