It took long enough! The White House has denied a visa for Iran’s pick for United Nations envoy, Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran’s former ambassador to Belgium and Italy, who was a member of the Muslim Students Following the Imam’s Line, a group of radical students that seized the U.S. embassy on Nov. 4, 1979.
According to the Dallas News:
“The concerns reflected in the legislation talked about today reflect our concerns,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, during the daily press briefing. “We concur with the Congress and share the intent of the bill and will not be issuing a visa.”The issue of granting Aboutalebi a visa as been building for two weeks, and it took the a bill introduced by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and passed by both houses essentialy barring him from receiving a visa, to get the Administration to act.
Carney added that the White House spoke to the Iranian government and the United Nations to explain its reason.
In an interview he gave to KhabarOnline, Aboutalebi said he didn’t take part in the initial occupation of the embassy, he simply acted as translator and negotiator:
“On a few other occasions, when they needed to translate something in relation with their contacts with other countries, I translated their material into English or French,” he said, according to Khabaronline. “I did the translation during a press conference when the female and black staffers of the embassy were released, and it was purely based on humanitarian motivations.”