State Department: Iranian Foreign Minister Can Visit Sick Colleague If Country Releases U.S. Citizen
The State Department said it would permit Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit a colleague receiving cancer treatment in New York if Iran releases a U.S. citizen. “Foreign Minister Zarif would like to visit a colleague who is in the hospital receiving world class care. Iran has wrongfully detained several U.S. citizens for years, to the pain of their families and friends they cannot freely visit,” a State Department spokesperson told Foreign Policy. “We have relayed to the Iranian mission (to the United Nations) that the travel request will be granted if Iran releases a U.S. citizen.” The Iranian UN mission said the colleague, Ambassador Takht Ravanchi, was being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—a few blocks from where the UN General Assembly meeting is taking place. This comes after the White House reportedly placed new travel restrictions on senior Iranian officials and members of their family earlier this week, after attempts to renew diplomacy with President Hassan Rouhani failed.