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Iran slams US for barring Zarif from New York hospital visit

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran has criticized the U.S. for its “inhumane” decision to bar its foreign minister – who is attending the U.N. summit meetings – from visiting a hospitalized Iranian diplomat in New York.

The official IRNA news agency Saturday quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi as saying the U.S. has taken humanitarian issues “hostage” for political causes.

American authorities forbade Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif from visiting a New York hospital to see Iran’s U.N. ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi, who is under cancer treatment.

The U.S. State Department said it would allow the hospital travel request only if Iran released one of several U.S. citizens it is currently “wrongfully detained.”

In July, the U.S. restricted Zarif’s movement to just six blocks in New York.

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