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Congress votes to bar Iran's new UN envoy from US

Congress passed a measure Thursday that if signed by the president would effectively deny a visa to Iran's newly appointed UN ambassador over his alleged links to the 1979 US hostage crisis. The House of Representatives passed the bill by unanimous consent, meaning without any voiced opposition, after the Senate did the same Monday. It now goes to President Barack Obama's desk.

U.S. may test influence at U.N. by denying visa to Iran envoy

By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States may soon deny a visa to Iran's proposed U.N. ambassador, two U.S. officials said on Wednesday, a rare and potentially precedent-setting step that would test U.S. influence over the world body. The U.S. government objects to Hamid Abutalebi entering the United States because of his suspected participation in a Muslim student group that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days starting in 1979, when the group seized control of the U.S. embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran.

US denial of visa to Iran UN envoy 'unacceptable'

Iran described as "unacceptable" Wednesday a decision by the United States to deny a visa to Tehran's newly appointed UN ambassador over his alleged links to the 1979 US hostage crisis. The clash over the nomination threatens to complicate a key moment in the easing of relations between Washington and Tehran as both sides strive to conclude a deal on the Islamic republic's nuclear programme. On Tuesday, a day after the US Senate passed a resolution that would deny a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, White House spokesman Jay Carney said his selection was "not viable."

US denial of visa to Iran UN envoy 'unacceptable'

Iran described as "unacceptable" Wednesday a decision by the United States to deny a visa to Tehran's newly appointed UN ambassador over his alleged links to the 1979 US hostage crisis. The clash over the nomination threatens to complicate a key moment in the easing of relations between Washington and Tehran as both sides strive to conclude a deal on the Islamic republic's nuclear programme. On Tuesday, a day after the US Senate passed a resolution that would deny a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, White House spokesman Jay Carney said his selection was "not viable."

Iran's Khamenei renews support for nuclear talks

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated Wednesday his support for ongoing nuclear talks with world powers, while insisting that Tehran's atomic programme would carry on. He spoke as negotiators for Iran and the so-called P5+1 group started a second day of talks in Vienna aimed at hammering out a final deal over Tehran's contested nuclear programme by a July 20 deadline.

White House says has told Tehran U.N. ambassador choice 'not viable'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House made clear on Tuesday that it did not welcome Iran's choice of Hamid Abutalebi as its new United Nations ambassador, saying officials had told Tehran that the selection was "not viable." But White House spokesman Jay Carney stopped short of saying Abutalebi would be barred from entering the United States because of his alleged role in the 1979-1981 hostage crisis, during which radical Iranian students held U.S. Embassy staff for 444 days.

White House says has told Iran U.N. ambassador choice 'not viable'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House made clear on Tuesday that it did not welcome Iran's choice of Hamid Abutalebi as its new United Nations ambassador, saying officials had told Tehran that the selection was "not viable." But White House spokesman Jay Carney stopped short of saying Abutalebi would be barred from entering the United States because of his alleged role in the 1979-1981 hostage crisis, during which radical Iranian students held U.S. Embassy staff for 444 days.

Iran nuclear 'breakout' time at two months

Iran is two months away from breakout capability to produce enough nuclear material for a bomb should they resume their mothballed enrichment process, Secretary of State John Kerry warned Tuesday. Tehran is in the thick of international negotiations over its nuclear program, with a fresh round of talks beginning on Tuesday in Vienna aimed at starting a draft of an historic final deal. Under a temporary deal which took effect January 20, Iran froze certain nuclear activities for six months in exchange for minor relief from sanctions hurting its economy.

Iran, world powers try to move nuclear talks up a gear

Iran and world powers held a new round of nuclear talks Tuesday hoping to move to the next level and start drafting a historic but highly ambitious final deal next month. Threatening to drive a wedge between the powers, however, is the crisis over Ukraine, which has led to the biggest standoff between Russia and the West since the Cold War. Iran and the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany want to transform a temporary accord struck in November into a permanent agreement before it lapses on July 20.

Iran, world powers seek to intensify nuclear talks

Iran and world powers kicked off a new round of nuclear talks Tuesday hoping to make enough progress to move up a gear and start drafting a historic final deal next month. Threatening to drive a wedge between the powers, however, is the crisis surrounding Ukraine, which has led to the biggest standoff between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War. Iran and the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany want to transform a deal struck in November into a permanent agreement by the time this temporary accord lapses on July 20.
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