Tehran: The US has denied entry visas to a few Iranian officials, including two ministers, expecting to attend the UN General Assembly meet next week, news agency reported.

The US State Department refrained from issuing visas for 20 officials of the 160 people for whom the Iranian government had requested entry visas two months ago.Many Iranian officials are subject to travel bans under sanctions over Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

The news agency did not name the two ministers who were denied visas to attend the UN General Assembly meeting but said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be accompanied by Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and his chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie.Ahmadinejad is expected to give his final speech at the UN General Assembly meeting on Wednesday.

Since he took office, Ahmadinejad has attended all annual UN General Assembly meetings.Over 150 security officers will guarantee Ahmadinejad's security during his stay in New York.Tehran is currently under several packages of Western-backed sanctions, including EU-brokered oil embargo that came into effect from July 1.

The US, Israel and a number of European countries suspect Iran of running a nuclear weapons programme under the guise of a civil nuclear project. Iran denies this and maintains its nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful.


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