U.S. denying visa to Iranian U.N. ambassador involved in hostage crisis

From the Oval Office, U.S. President Barack Obama speaks on the phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sept. 27, 2013. Credit: Pete Souza/White House.

(JNS.org) The Obama administration on Friday notified Iran and the United Nations that it would deny a visa to newly appointed Iranian Ambassador to the U.N. Hamid Aboutalebi, who was part of an extremist student group that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, taking 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days.

The administration’s decision comes after the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would bar entry into the U.S. by any proposed U.N. representative who has engaged in espionage or terrorism or who may pose a threat to national security. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Barack Obama is reviewing the legislation, but did not say whether or not Obama will sign the bill.

In a statement, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said it “commends President Obama and Congress for sending a strong message that America will take a firm stand against purveyors of terror directed at the United States and its allies.”

Posted on April 11, 2014 .