White House Blocks Visa For Iranian Hostage Taker

Posted: Apr 11, 2014 2:40 PM

In case you missed it, Iran recently appointed Hamid Aboutalebi as an Ambassador to the United Nations. Aboutalebi is also one of the radical extremists who held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days after seizing the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. The Iranian government applied for a visa on behalf of Aboutalebi, who they hoped would conduct business at UN headquarters.

Last week, the Senate voted on legislation introduced by Texas Senator Ted Cruz to block Aboutalebi's entrance into the United States and now, the White House has officially denied his visa.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the White House is reviewing that legislation but announced that Abutalebi would be barred anyway.

"We have informed the United Nations and Iran that we will not issue a visa to Mr. Abutalebi," Carney said. "We certainly share the intent of the bill passed by Congress as we have already told the U.N. and Iran that we will not issue a visa."

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said it was "not a viable nomination."

Denying visas to U.N. ambassadorial nominees or to foreign heads of state who want to attend United Nations events in the United States is rare, if not unprecedented.

As a side-note, if you haven't sen U.N. Me yet, now is a good time to go watch it.