[VIDEO] Obama Reluctantly Signs Bill Blocking Iranian U.N. Envoy from Entry, Asserts Authority to Ignore Law if He Feels Like ItPosted: April 19, 2014
For Hot Air, Ed Morrissey writes: Yesterday, Ted Cruz had his first authored bill get signed into law, but the freshman Senator from Texas probably didn’t too excited by the victory. Despite unanimous support in both chambers of Congress for the new law, President Barack Obama sounded less than enthusiastic about enforcing the bill he signed yesterday that would block the proposed Iranian envoy to the UN from receiving an entry visa to the US:
It’s the oddest of legislative couples: President Obama and one of his biggest critics, Ted Cruz.
Obama on Friday signed a Cruz-backed bill aimed at blocking Iran’s appointed ambassador to the United Nations because of evidence linking him to the 1979 takeover of the American embassy in Tehran.
Technically, the law bars individuals from entering the U.S. as U.N. ambassadors if they are “found to have been engaged in espionage or terrorist activity directed against the United States or its allies.”
In reality, the bill targets a specific Iranian individual: Hamid Aboutalebi, who has been refused a visa by the administration.
A news report from inside the Islamic world
Iran is “outraged” over the decision:
Aboutalebi belonged to the same organization that seized and held American diplomats in 1979 from the Tehran embassy — people who should have had the same diplomatic immunity Iran now demands for Aboutalebi. The group acted as a front for the Iranian government and held dozens of Americans for 444 days. Aboutalebu now claims that he only provided translation and negotiation services for the group, but his appointment was clearly intended as a slap in the face to the US. Cruz and Chuck Schumer responded to the provocation with the bill that bars his entry to the US, which passed the Senate by acclamation and the House approval quickly followed.
Here’s an Israeli news video report from a few weeks ago when the controversy first began:
That kind of widespread consensus put the White House in a tough spot. At first, the Obama administration appeared tentative about the Iranian appointment, mindful of US obligations under Article IV of the 1947 treaty establishing UN headquarters within the US. At first, Jay Carney referred reporters to the State Department for answers as to whether Aboutalebi would get his credentials, butlater last week the White House announced that it would not approve the application…(read more)
- US Congress passes ban on Iran envoy (bbc.co.uk)
- Bill to Deny Entry to 1979 Hostage-Taker Hamid Aboutalebi Passes Senate (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- US Senate bill would bar Iran envoy (bbc.co.uk)
- Iran stands up to U.S. ‘bullying,’ won’t name new U.N. envoy (sfgate.com)
- US blocks Iran’s envoy to UN in rare rebuke (ndtv.com)
- Justice Minister underlines Iran’s firm stance in UN envoy case (theiranproject.com)
- WH Won’t Say If It Will Refuse Entry to Iran’s U.N. Ambassador-Nominee (cnsnews.com)
- White House to Iran: No visa for UN envoy pick (kansascity.com)
- Figures. Obama Keeps Quoting Fake Fatwa About Iranian Nuclear Program (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Iran Appointing Suspected Hostage Taker as UN Envoy (legalinsurrection.com)