President Donald Trump’s administration blocked Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif from entering the U.S. to address the UN on the killing of Iran's top general, Foreign Policy magazine reported Monday.
Citing a diplomatic source familiar with the matter, it said Zarif requested a visa "a few weeks ago" to address Thursday's Security Council meeting but was turned down.
The denial is a violation of the terms of a 1947 UN headquarters agreement requiring the U.S. to allow foreign officials into the country to conduct UN business, said the American news publication.
The reported move came amid heated tensions between Washington and Tehran after the U.S. killed Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' elite Quds Force, in a drone strike Friday in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
"The Thursday meeting was to provide Tehran’s top diplomat with his first opportunity to directly address the world community" after the assassination order by Trump, said the publication.
Soleimani's death marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which have often been at a fever pitch since Trump chose in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw Washington from a 2015 nuclear pact world powers struck with Tehran.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who bestowed the country's highest honor on Soleimani last year, vowed "severe retaliation" in response to his killing.
The Pentagon accused Soleimani of plotting an attack on the U.S. embassy last week and planning to carry out additional attacks on U.S. diplomats and service members in Iraq and the region that officials have said would have resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives.
The Trump administration has not made public any intelligence it used as the basis for carrying out Soleimani's killing.
By Servet Gunerigok in Washington