"We do not have a replacement for Mr. Abutalebi and we will
pursue the matter via legal mechanisms anticipated in the United
Nations," Abbas Araghchi, a senior Foreign Ministry official,
was quoted by Iran's official IRNA news agency as saying.
The United States said on Friday it would not grant a visa to
Hamid Abutalebi, citing the envoy's links to the 1979-1981
Washington objects to Abutalebi because of his suspected
participation in a Muslim student group that seized the U.S.
Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage
for 444 days.
The veteran diplomat has acknowledged that he acted as an
interpreter for the militants who held the hostages.
U.S. President Barack Obama had come under strong domestic
pressure not to allow Abutalebi into the country to take up his
position in New York, raising concerns that the dispute would
disrupt delicate negotiation between Tehran and six world powers
including Washington over Iran's nuclear program.
(Reporting by Mehrdad Belali; editing by Mark Heinrich)
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