US blocks Zarif from visiting ill colleague at New York hospital
Tehran (KNA) - The United States has rejected a request by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi, who is being treated for cancer in a hospital in New York.
The US State Department made the announcement on Friday, adding Zarif could only visit his ill colleague if Tehran released one of the several American citizens detained in Iran.
Due to US sanctions and travel restrictions placed on Zarif in July, the foreign minister can only travel between the John F. Kennedy airport and a limited area surrounding the UN building in New York where he is to take part in the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Washington has detained a number of Iranian citizens on grounds of violating US sanctions against Tehran.
Masoud Soleimani, a top stem cell scientist held behind bars in the United States without trial for nearly a year, is among the detained Iranian individuals. He, too, is suffering from a worsening health condition.