Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Global Impact: Hostage-Taker Who Held 52 American Hostages In Iran for 444 Days to Represent Iran at UN

According to The Associated Press, Iran has chosen Iranian hostage-taker Hamid Aboutalebi, 56, who was a member of a Muslim student group that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days in 1979, is now, in an outrageous development, to seek a diplomatic visa for Aboutalebi as Iran's nominated ambassador to the United Nations.

COMMENT: Earlier today (April 1) Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) vowed to take whatever steps are necessary to bar Aboutalebi's from enter into the US.    

Cruz said it was outrageous that Iran had selected Hamid Aboutalebi, who was a member of a Muslim student group that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, and was seeking a visa for him. The Texas Republican said he was offering legislation to ensure that Aboutalebi would be prevented from entering the US.

"It is unconscionable that in the name of international diplomatic protocol the United States would be forced to host a foreign national who showed a brutal disregard of the status of diplomats when they were stationed in his country," Cruz said in a speech on the Senate floor. "This person is an acknowledged terrorist."

Cruz said Aboutalebi has insisted his involvement in the group in protests at the time were limited to translation and negotiation. Yet, Cruz emphasized that Aboutalebi's photograph remains on its website to mark the takeover of the US Embassy.

Cruz said his legislation would require President Obama to deny a visa to Aboutalebi the President determines that the nominee has engaged in terrorist activity. He said there was a bipartisan effort to get the legislation passed expeditiously.

Cruz called the ambassadorial choice by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to be willfully insulting to the US and questioned the Obama Administration's continued talks with Iran about its nuclear program.

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, was scheduled to testify before a House panel Wednesday (April 2) on the Obama Administration's budget request. She is expected to face very pointed questions as to whether the executive branch will deny a visa to Aboutalebi.

It is my belief that Mr. Obama will pose no objection to Aboutalebi's nomination, unless a massive decline in the President's popularity are deemed to be adversely counter-productive to Democratic Party losses during the November 2014 mid-term election. 

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.