Hamid Aboutalebi

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Hamid Aboutalebi
Hamid Aboutalebi.jpg
Deputy Chief of Staff of the President for Political Affairs
Assumed office
7 October 2013
President Hassan Rouhani
Ambassador of Iran to Australia
In office
President Mohammad Khatami
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Preceded by Gholamali Khoshroo
Succeeded by Mahmoud Movahhedi
Ambassador of Iran to Belgium and the European Union
In office
President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Mohammad Khatami
Preceded by Mohammad Reza Bakhtiari
Succeeded by Abolghassem Delfi
Ambassador of Iran to Italy
In office
President Ali Khamenei
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Preceded by Gholamali Heydari Khajepour
Succeeded by Majid Hedayatzade
Personal details
Born (1957-06-16) 16 June 1957 (age 60)
Tehran, Iran
Alma mater University of Tehran
Sorbonne Nouvelle University
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Hamid Aboutalebi (Persian: حمید ابوطالبی‎‎, born 16 June 1957)[1] is an Iranian diplomat and ambassador. Aboutalebi was previously ambassador of Iran to Australia, the European Union, Belgium, Italy, and as political director general to Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[2] He was part of Iran's UN delegation in New York City in the 1990s.[3]

Professional background[edit]

Aboutalebi obtained his Ph.D. in historical sociology from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in 1999, after having completed master's degrees in sociology (from Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris) and in the history of Islamic civilization and culture (from Tehran University). Aboutalebi also earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from Tehran University.[4]

His professional publications include Basic Challenges of U.S Foreign Policy towards Iran (2009),[5] Rocky Mountains of Nuclear Extremism (2009),[6] Turkey: Modern Diplomacy and New Ottoman Caliphate (2009),[7] and New Challenges of Iran Foreign Policy towards U.S. (2010).[8] He published Anthropology of Ethics; First Volume of Philosophy of Social Ethics in 2013.[4]


It has been claimed[according to whom?] that Aboutalebi was one of the student radicals involved in the Iran hostage crisis, in which 52 Americans, including diplomats from the US embassy in Tehran, were held captive from 1979 to 1980.[9][10]

Aboutalebi denied participation in the takeover of the US embassy, emphasising that he was brought in to translate and negotiate following the occupation.[11][12] Aboutalebi was a student and member of the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, comprising students from several major science and technology universities of Tehran, which occupied the U.S. embassy in Tehran.[12] Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, a leading member of the core group who organized and led the embassy takeover, told BBC Persian that Aboutalebi's involvement was peripheral. "Calling him a hostage-taker is simply wrong", Asgharzadeh said.[11]

Due to the claims, Aboutalebi's appointment as ambassador to the UN has been opposed by numerous U.S. lawmakers and diplomats, some of whom have asked the US Department of State to deny his application for a visa.[13][14]

On 1 April 2014, in the United States Senate, Republican Senator Ted Cruz introduced Senate bill 2195, a bill that would allow the President of the United States to deny a visa to any ambassador to the United Nations who has been found to have been engaged in espionage activities or a terrorist activity against the United States or its allies, and may pose a threat to U.S. national security interests.[15] The bill was a reaction to Aboutalebi's selection as Iran's ambassador.[16] The bill passed the Senate on 7 April, and the United States House of Representatives on 10 April. President Barack Obama signed the bill 18 April 2014.[17]

Complicating the situation were the ongoing nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran.[18] Some[who?] have argued that denying Abutalebi's entry to the United States would violate the 1947 treaty agreement which was a prerequisite for the United Nations' agreement to locate their headquarters in New York City.[18] Aboutalebi was denied the visa on 12 April 2014.[19]


He is described close to the Executives of Construction Party and the Moderation and Development Party, in terms of political bent.[20]


  1. ^ Hamid Aboutalebi, next Iranian UN ambassador
  2. ^ Hamid Aboutalebi's positions
  3. ^ US position on Iranian UN pick unacceptable, presstv.ir; accessed 14 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b سوابق علمی و اجرایی معاون جدید سیاسی دفتر رئیس جمهور
  5. ^ مرکز تحقیقات استراتژیک - مقالات - چالش‌های مبنایی سیاست خارجی جدید آمریکا درخصوص ایران
  6. ^ مرکزتحقیقات استراتژیک- گزارش راهبردی - کوهستان‌های صعب‌العبور افراط گرایی هسته‌ای
  7. ^ مرکزتحقیقات استراتژیک- گزارش راهبردی - ترکیه: دیپلماسی مدرن و خلافت نوین عثمانی
  8. ^ مرکز تحقیقات استراتژیک - مقالات - چالشهای نوین سیاست خارجی ایران در رابطه با آمریکا
  9. ^ US Troubled by Iran's Choice of Its UN Ambassador, ABC News; accessed 14 April 2014.
  10. ^ Claims re Aboutalebi during Iran hostage crisis, thelede.blogs.nytimes.com; accessed 19 April 2014.
  11. ^ a b "US Senate bill would bar Iranian envoy Hamid Aboutalebi", BBC News, 8 April 2014
  12. ^ a b "Iran named Hamid Aboutalebi, Linked To 1979 Tehran US Embassy Takeover, As UN Ambassador", International Business Times, 29 March 2014
  13. ^ Iran's United Nations pick 'a slap in the face', says Sen. Graham, TheHill; accessed 14 April 2014.
  14. ^ Ted Cruz says proposed Iranian ambassador to U.N. was hostage-taker in 1979, cleveland.com; accessed 14 April 2014.
  15. ^ "S. 2195 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  16. ^ Marcos, Cristina (10 April 2014). "Congress approves bill banning Iran diplomat". The Hill. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "US President Obama signs law to ban Aboutalebi", Presstv, 18 April 2014
  18. ^ a b Sink, Justin (9 April 2014). "Obama's nuclear dilemma". The Hill. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  19. ^ Iranian diplomat Hamid Aboutalebi denied visa, nytimes.com, 12 April 2014; accessed 14 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Inside President Rouhani’s Immediate Circle and Possible Scrambling Scenarios", Iranian Diplomacy, 11 July 2017, retrieved 15 August 2017