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Iran’s FM Video-Calls Envoy after US Bars Him from Hospital Visit

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that he had communicated with the country’s UN ambassador in a New York hospital where he is being treated for cancer by video call.

“Thanks to technology, I was able to see and talk to my friend of 40 years and our UN ambassador Ravanchi, who is in hospital here in New York only a few blocks away,” Zarif said late on Saturday.

On Friday, the United States rejected a request by Zarif to visit Iran’s United Nations Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi in a hospital in New York.

A US State Department spokesperson said Zarif’s request would be granted if Iran released one of several American citizens it had detained.

Later on Friday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi criticized the US for taking humanitarian issues “hostage” for political causes.

Iran’s foreign minister was in New York for the 74th annual session of the UN General Assembly.

In July, the United States imposed tight travel restrictions on Zarif before a visit that month to the United Nations, as well as on Iranian diplomats and their families living in New York, which Zarif described as “basically inhuman.”

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