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POLITICAL

Playing hostage game like a pro: US demands release of prisoner before Iranian FM can visit cancer-stricken ambassador

Washington won’t allow the Iranian foreign minister to visit his country’s envoy to the UN at a US hospital unless one of the American citizens detained by Iran is released first.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is currently in New York for the UN General Assembly. He was denied permission to visit Iran’s representative to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment at a Manhattan hospital.

The medical facility is located just outside a small zone in which Zarif and other members of the Iranian delegation are permitted to travel. If an Iranian delegate wishes to venture outside the zone, they must notify the US State Department and seek permission, which was not granted in this case.