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Old 12 April 2014, 06:13 PM
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htonl htonl is offline
 
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Default Iran's UN ambassador nominee denied entry to US over hostage crisis link

http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-denied-entry:

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The White House has made good on a promise not to let an Iranian tied to the 1979 hostage crisis travel to the United States.

The administration on Friday denied a visa to Hamid Abutalebi, who sought entry as Iranís recently appointed ambassador to the United Nations. The visa denial came a day after Congress passed quickie legislation to bar entry to the US to individuals tied to a national security threat.
I don't see how the UN can continue to function as a neutral diplomatic venue, if the US government now claims the power to control who other countries may send as their ambassadors.
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Old 12 April 2014, 07:01 PM
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UEL UEL is offline
 
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Originally Posted by htonl View Post
I don't see how the UN can continue to function as a neutral diplomatic venue, if the US government now claims the power to control who other countries may send as their ambassadors.
While I get and agree with your point, I wish to point out that the UN is not neutral.

The UN is impartial, but it is not neutral. Think of the Korean War, the UN against North Korea, or the condemnation by the UN of some of the events in recent history (eg. Rwandan genocide)
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Old 12 April 2014, 07:35 PM
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Point taken. "Impartial" or "independent" would be a better word than "neutral".
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Old 12 April 2014, 09:59 PM
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Ideally you'd place the UN on some remote island in the Pacific which is owned by nobody but outside of that I'm honestly not sure how a situation like this ought to be handled any differently. Currently the US is behaving like a bit of an ass (well, less now now than 5 years ago) and I can certainly see the logic in wanting to move the offices to a less polarizing country, but a. it's a pretty large suite of buildings which aren't going to be easily moved in a fortnight or something, and ii. your Denmark or Japan or whoever you decide to have host the UN are going to have their own political issues which color who they do and do not allow into the country where the UN is staged.

An argument can be made that the Iran hostage crisis was an act of terrorism and if this guy participated in it, then he's a terrorist and he'd be on any reasonable no-fly list. If this was just some guy who had spoken out against the US in the past, sure, this would be a horribly bad move, but he's not.
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Old 12 April 2014, 10:13 PM
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Yeah, in isolation excluding this particular guy is not particularly unreasonable. But it violates a treaty, and it sets a really bad precedent. How long before hawks in Congress start demanding bans in other, less clear-cut cases? Basically, the UN is now subject to the whims of US politicians, which is really not acceptable.
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Old 12 April 2014, 10:22 PM
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That's a slippery slope argument and I for one am not a fan of engaging in those until the objectionable bits actually start occurring. Maybe Congress will start banning the French because they are cheese eating surrender monkeys. Maybe this will be a one-off thing. Until we see if this is the case, I'm not going to spend a lot of time worrying about it, honestly.
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Old 13 April 2014, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htonl View Post
Yeah, in isolation excluding this particular guy is not particularly unreasonable. But it violates a treaty, and it sets a really bad precedent. How long before hawks in Congress start demanding bans in other, less clear-cut cases? Basically, the UN is now subject to the whims of US politicians, which is really not acceptable.
Normally I would agree with you - but the hostage crisis was a unique event, and directly relates to the nature of diplomacy.

For revolutionary forces to take over an embassy and host the diplomats hostage for more than a year was unheard of. Iran did not play by the rules of diplomacy, and this proposed ambassador was one of the leaders of that event. I have no problem with this - Iran can send any diplomat they want, except for those who participated in the hostage taking.
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Old 13 April 2014, 02:17 PM
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Where it gets tricky is that the US can send anybody, regardless of their past.

The US is ultimately guarding the gateway to the UN General Assembly.

And it is not quite a unique event. Every employee of the UN goes through the screening, and despite being either vetted by the UN or being on the diplomatic staff for their countries, there have been blocks before**. This is the first one that has made the news.

**I know one Canadian blocked from working at the UN in New York despite being a UN civilian employee because he married a non-Canadian whose birth country was not friendly with the US. That put his job in jeopardy. Luckily the UN found employment for him in Europe.
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Old 13 April 2014, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Normally I would agree with you - but the hostage crisis was a unique event, and directly relates to the nature of diplomacy.

For revolutionary forces to take over an embassy and host the diplomats hostage for more than a year was unheard of. Iran did not play by the rules of diplomacy, and this proposed ambassador was one of the leaders of that event. I have no problem with this - Iran can send any diplomat they want, except for those who participated in the hostage taking.
Basically some people think that you can't break the rules of diplomacy even for a person that broke the rules of diplomacy.
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