Speed Reads


U.S. lawmakers are up in arms over Iran's U.N. ambassador pick

Brendan McDermid-Pool/Getty Images

Somebody grab a reset button.

American lawmakers are upset over Iran's selection of Hamid Aboutalebi to United Nations ambassador, NPR reports.

Aboutalebi, who was not directly involved in the 1979 hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, has nevertheless been quoted saying he acted as an interpreter for the student group. That role has led to backlash from those who spent 444 days in captivity. Retired U.S. Air Force Col. David Roeder told NPR he thinks that Iran is using the assignment as a taunt:

(Aboutalebi) was not one of those that held a gun to my head. He wasn't one of those who beat me and kicked me and that sort of thing. But he was there. And he was part of it. And you are a product of your past. I have a couple of little grandsons, and they are constantly testing me to see how much they can get away with. And I think that's exactly what the Iranians are doing to us. [NPR]

Others believe the move was not a calculated affront but a "huge miscalculation" by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Whichever side is right, a phone call may not suffice in smoothing relations between two countries still struggling with a very tenuous peace.

Listen to the whole story at NPR.