U.S. tells Iran its U.N. envoy pick is “not viable”

An U.S. hostage (Blindfolded) on November 8, 1979, is paraded by his captors in the compound of the U.S. Embassy Tehran, Iran. An Iranian crowd of thousands stand by chanting 'death to Carter - Yankee go home'. AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON - The White House says the United States has notified Iran's government that its pick to be Iran's new U.N. ambassador is not viable.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration finds Iran's choice of Hamid Abutalebi's extremely troubling. He says the White House shares the Senate's concern.

The Senate on Monday approved a bill barring Abutalebi from entering the U.S. American officials have objected to his selection because of his alleged participation in a Muslim student group that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Iran's government had said earlier Tuesday it was still waiting for Washington's formal response.

Carney isn't saying whether the U.S. would deny Abutalebi entrance into the country. He's noting U.S. responsibilities as the host nation for the U.N. that could come into play.

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