Tehran’s pick for Ambassador to New York involved in 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, applauded the unanimous House passage of legislation aimed at denying Iran’s next proposed ambassador to the United Nations entry to the United States.  The legislation (S. 2195) – which now goes to the President for his signature – would deny U.S. admission to any representative to the United Nations who has engaged in espionage or terrorist activities against the United States.

Last month, Iran appointed Hamid Aboutalebi as the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations.  Aboutalebi has acknowledged serving as a translator for radical Iranians who took 52 American diplomats hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, holding them for 444 days.

On the legislation’s passage Chairman Royce said:  “None of those who took those 52 hostages in Tehran, who terrorized Americans and violated diplomatic sovereignty, should be allowed into the U.S. — period.  This isn’t surprising from Iran, whose primary motive is showing contempt for the United States.  Congress has unanimously approved legislation that sends the message to Tehran: “Application Denied.”