“We have certain responsibilities as UN's host,” says State Dept.
By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JPOST CORRESPONDENT
WASHINGTON – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on track to receive a US visa to attend next week’s UN meeting on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, though it is very unlikely that US officials would meet with him or other members of his delegation.“The visas for the Iranian delegation are still being processed,” US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Thursday, referring to applications made this week.Ahmadinejad and other Iranians have been given visas to attend UN meetings several times in the past, and Crowley noted earlier that “we have certain responsibilities as the host of the UN. Any foreign official who’s coming to the UN for official business is normally granted a visa.”While US officials expect that the visa arrangements will be made intime for the Iranians to participate at the conference opening nextMonday, they indicated that the venue would not be used to further theadministration’s engagement strategy with Iran.Afterrepresentatives of the countries met earlier this year and brokered acompromise on the Iranian nuclear program that never came to fruition,the US has not met with Iranians and top officials have said theapproach didn’t work.In terms of the upcoming NPT meeting,which will stretch over many days, Crowley said Thursday that “aface-to-face meeting between a US diplomat and an Iranian diplomat ishighly unlikely.”
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