Breaking: White House denies visa to Iranian hostage-taker

posted at 1:20 pm on April 11, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The White House announced today that it would refuse to issue a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, the Iranian envoy to the United Nations, over his connection to the 1979 hostage crisis in Tehran. Aboutalebi belonged to the “student group” who seized Americans from the US embassy despite having diplomatic immunity, and the Iranian government held them captive for 444 days:

The White House said on Friday that an Iranian official who was in the student group that took U.S. diplomats hostage in 1979 will not be issued a visa to allow him to become Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations.

Earlier this week, the Senate unanimously passed a bill backed by Ted Cruz and Chuck Schumer that would have forced the White House to refuse the visa request, although that may have been challenged in court by this or a future administration. The House quickly passed it afterward, and it’s now sitting on Barack Obama’s desk. So far they haven’t decided on whether to sign the bill:

However, that decision appears to run afoul of obligations under Article IV of the 1947 treaty establishing UN headquarters within the US. In Section 11 and 13, the US agreed to credential diplomats from member states without “impose[ing] any impediments to transit to or from the headquarters district of (1) Representatives of Members or officials of the United Nations[.]” Jay Carney referred any questions over the treaty provisions to the State Department, but for now Aboutalebi is out of luck.

Update: Yahoo’s Olivier Knox and Zeke Miller point out a possible 25-year-old precedent:

On Nov. 24, 1988, we received an application from Mr. Yasir Arafat, Chairman of the P.L.O., for a visa to attend the United Nations General Assembly session in New York City as an invitee. The Secretary of State has decided not to recommend a waiver of ineligibility in this case; the visa application therefore is not approved.

The U.S. Government has convincing evidence that P.L.O. elements have engaged in terrorism against Americans and others. This evidence includes a series of operations undertaken by the Force 17 and the Hawari organizations since the PLO claimed to foreswear the use of terrorism in the Cairo Declaration of November, 1985. As chairman of the P.L.O. Mr. Arafat is responsible for actions of these organizations which are units of Fatah, an element of the P.L.O. of which he also is chairman and which is under his control. The most recent sign of Mr. Arafat’s associations with terrorism was the presence at the Algiers session of the Palestine National Council this month of Abu Abbass, a member of the Executive Commitee of the P.L.O. who has been convicted by the Italian judicial system of the murder of an American citizen, Mr. Leon Klinghoffer. P.L.O. and Terrorism

The P.L.O.through certain of its elements has employed terrorism against Americans. Mr. Arafat, as Chairman of the P.L.O., knows of, condones and lends support to such acts; he therefore is an accessory to such terrorism.

Terrorism and those involved in it are a serious threat to our national security and to the lives of American citizens. The Headquarters Agreement, contained in Public Law 80-357, reserves to us the right to bar the entry of those who represent a threat to our security.

At the time, the PLO was already an observer at the UN, and the US had previously granted visas to its representatives. They balked at Arafat, although within a few years he became the foreign leader who paid the most visits to the White House during the Clinton presidency.

Update: Pocket veto?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

On a more conciliatory note, the President did invite Mr. Aboutalebi to the White House to discuss the destruction of Israel.

Roy Rogers on April 11, 2014 at 1:24 PM

There seems to be a conflict between what the US gov’t wants and what the UN wants. No problem. Boot the UN out of the US.

HiJack on April 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

He’s doing this because Obamacare has won. -Vox

Good Lt on April 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

A no-brainer that I’m sure Obama anguished over.

He loves his Muzzie “brothers”.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Who can deny obama’s visa renewal?

crash72 on April 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Silly Iranian. Just sneak across the border, dude. They’ll probably pick you up and fly you first class to NYC.

xblade on April 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

There seems to be a conflict between what the US gov’t wants and what the UN wants. No problem. Boot the UN out of the US.

HiJack on April 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

I don’t understand why the UN isn’t in Geneva. Everything else of international note seems to happen in Geneva.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Liberals: “See, Obama can be trusted on immigration. He’s the deporter in chief.”

BuckeyeSam on April 11, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Given the unanimity in the Senate and House, this is a no-brainer. Easy to make Dear Liar look like he’s “standing up for America.”

rbj on April 11, 2014 at 1:27 PM

So far they haven’t decided on whether to sign the bill:

So now you’ve dropped the pretense that Obama is anything but a figurehead? Sounds about right. The Bill puts pressure on ‘them’ and ‘they’ have to figure a way of submitting to the UN without looking like they’re being easy on terrorists with the general public.

Fenris on April 11, 2014 at 1:27 PM

No sweat. He’s gonna give him Permanent Residency status.

vnvet on April 11, 2014 at 1:29 PM

I don’t understand why the UN isn’t in Geneva. Everything else of international note seems to happen in Geneva.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Which is to say, nothing much at all. Geneva is the perfect place for it.

de rigueur on April 11, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Obama to Aboutalebi in a side letter: “I was rooting for you from Hawaii and Occidental. I had to do this for appearances. After we slam through amnesty and create a permanent Democratic majority built on natural GOP voters, my Democratic successors will have more flexibility.”

BuckeyeSam on April 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM

I don’t understand why the UN isn’t in Geneva. Everything else of international note seems to happen in Geneva.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

American liberals want an “unbiased” global organization on our soil to insult the US on a regular basis.

BuckeyeSam on April 11, 2014 at 1:31 PM

I don’t understand why the UN isn’t in Geneva. Everything else of international note seems to happen in Geneva.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Or Brussels.

HiJack on April 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM

No reason not to issue the visa IMO.

Just that when he arrives, arrest and hold him in detention for 444*52 days for each of the US hostages held by him and his cronies.

If the UN decides to kick the USA out over the incident, then that’s just a sweet bonus.

s1im on April 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

The White House said on Friday that an Iranian official who was in the student group that took U.S. diplomats hostage in 1979 will not be issued a visa to allow him to become Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations.

Note the use of the passive voice either in the press release or in the reporting. You see, it’s not really Obama behind this. It’s Congress or some stubborn right-wing bureaucrat who hasn’t been purged yet.

BuckeyeSam on April 11, 2014 at 1:35 PM

There seems to be a conflict between what the US gov’t wants and what the UN wants. No problem. Boot the UN out of the US.

HiJack on April 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

UN should have been gone from NY years ago.

“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

JetBoy on April 11, 2014 at 1:35 PM

At same time, @presssec still cannot say whether Pres Obama will sign visa denial bill passed by Congress.

I’d be surprised if Obama signs it. Too petty, partisan and angry.

forest on April 11, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Obama probably called and let him know he’d have more flexibility after the mid-term.

Also, the idea of the current WH being bound by the letter of some treaty when they daily disregard the Constitution is quaint.

TexasDan on April 11, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Booting About-a-lebi.

Schadenfreude on April 11, 2014 at 1:39 PM

At same time, @presssec still cannot say whether Pres Obama will sign visa denial bill passed by Congress.

The Caliph will veto it.

Steve Eggleston on April 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM

I’d be surprised if Obama signs it. Too petty, partisan and angry.

forest on April 11, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Do not see anything partisan about it.

Earlier this week, the Senate unanimously passed a bill backed by Ted Cruz and Chuck Schumer that would have forced the White House to refuse the visa request, although that may have been challenged in court by this or a future administration. The House quickly passed it afterward, and it’s now sitting on Barack Obama’s desk. So far they haven’t decided on whether to sign the bill:

Barred on April 11, 2014 at 1:42 PM

The White House is still infested with Muslim Brotherhood, so big deal.

VorDaj on April 11, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Hmmm… Could the winds be blowing… Or is it just Obama that’s blowing?

oscarwilde on April 11, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Perfect excuse for the mullahs to get all butthurt and further delay what are laughingly described as negotiations regarding their nuclear program. It’s almost as if it was planned.

butch on April 11, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Valerie Jarrett in hijab, crying…

Schadenfreude on April 11, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Can we please just withdraw from the UN entirely and kick it out of the country already. It serves no positive purpose whatsoever. I’m sure Brussels would love to have it. They love pointless bureaucracies there.

WhatSlushfund on April 11, 2014 at 1:45 PM

A no-brainer that I’m sure Obama anguished over.

He loves his Muzzie “brothers”.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Remember there is a division in islam.

The Muzzie Bros are Sunni (so is Al-Queida which he also has favored in Syria).

The Iranians are Shia.

Kenya and Indonesia are principally dominated by the sunnis… And that’s where Obama’s “muslim roots” originate.

ConstantineXI on April 11, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Hey, Off the record he’s telling Iran that he’ll have a lot more flexibility once John Kerry takes care of the Jew problem in Israel.

Happy Nomad on April 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Where it’s due. It’s due, and he’s got it.

cbenoistd on April 11, 2014 at 1:48 PM

I don’t see why this was not a hell no right from the start.

Southernblogger on April 11, 2014 at 1:50 PM

ConstantineXI on April 11, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Two minor points:

- When it comes to infidels, both Sunnis and Shiites are of one mind.

- Plugs Biden favors the Shiites, or at least the Mad Mullahs of Iran.

Steve Eggleston on April 11, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Christiane Amanpour will defenestrate over this.

Schadenfreude on April 11, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Schadenfreude on April 11, 2014 at 1:45 PM

A bird flies sweetly
on paper wings. Telling all
Valerie Jarrett in hijab, crying

FIFY

Roy Rogers on April 11, 2014 at 1:54 PM

I don’t see why this was not a hell no right from the start.

Southernblogger on April 11, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Political winds shifted in an ugly direction

It’s an Obamaquandary

Roy Rogers on April 11, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Fezzig – you did something right….

dentarthurdent on April 11, 2014 at 1:58 PM

the Senate unanimously passed a bill

Where are the liberals to celebrate the bipartisanship?

Occams Stubble on April 11, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I swear a pig just flew by my office window.

portlandon on April 11, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Aboutalebi: “Stinkin’ Koch Brothers!”

Deano1952 on April 11, 2014 at 2:03 PM

How many good muzzies will defend this on TV?

Schadenfreude on April 11, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Silly Iranian. Just sneak across the border, dude. xblade on April 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

According to Joe Bite-me, once he gets here he’ll be a US citizen.

Akzed on April 11, 2014 at 2:07 PM

There’s still time for Obama to screw this up and do the wrong thing.

Mallard T. Drake on April 11, 2014 at 2:07 PM

The real story here is that it took them a couple of weeks and the unanimous voice of Congress to do it. It should have taken five minutes, tops.

UN Charter or not, this guy was involved in holding diplomats hostage. Even the UN halfwits should see the point.

And if they don’t, let them move to some place more in keeping with their thinking, like Brussels or Mombasa.

Adjoran on April 11, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Hard to imagine Obama dissing one of his terrorist friends.

Somebody must not have paid the proper Regime bribes influence fees.

viking01 on April 11, 2014 at 2:08 PM

I actually have to agree with all you neocons on this one. No way we should ever allow terrorists or their sympathizers into our country.

I know conservatives only care about blocking the Muslim terrorists, but liberals don’t care if they’re Muslim Brotherhood, Weather Underground or IRA…a terrorist is a terrorist!

Frank Lib on April 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM

I don’t understand why the UN isn’t in Geneva. Everything else of international note seems to happen in Geneva.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

It would make sense now. At its creation during WW2 the UN was originally made up of 26 nations which pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers, thus the UNITED nations and made sense for its location in NYC. Switzerland, having been in the UN since 2002, would be an ideal location, but not quite as exciting to the plundering UN corruptocrats as NYC. Not so sure the Swiss would want the criminals on their soil.

hawkeye54 on April 11, 2014 at 2:13 PM

White House denies visa to Iranian hostage-taker

Issues full citizenship instead.

BobMbx on April 11, 2014 at 2:18 PM

The Secretary of State has decided not to recommend a waiver of ineligibility in this case; the visa application therefore is not approved.

what?

BobMbx on April 11, 2014 at 2:20 PM

There seems to be a conflict between what the US gov’t wants and what the UN wants. No problem. Boot the UN out of the US.

HiJack on April 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

UN should have been gone from NY years ago.

“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

JetBoy on April 11, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Beat me to it. Throw them out. Stop giving them money.That should be a budget cut both sides can agree on.

talkingpoints on April 11, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Issues full citizenship instead.

BobMbx on April 11, 2014 at 2:18 PM

As-Salāmu Alaykum

Now it’s time for golf

Roy Rogers on April 11, 2014 at 2:21 PM

I know conservatives only care about blocking the Muslim terrorists, but liberals don’t care if they’re Muslim Brotherhood, Weather Underground or IRA…a terrorist is a terrorist!

Frank Lib on April 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Got me til I read the sig. Funny.

talkingpoints on April 11, 2014 at 2:21 PM

I don’t understand why the UN isn’t in Geneva. Everything else of international note seems to happen in Geneva.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Want to destroy the UN? Just sign over Midway Island as a gift, and then close the UN building.

Nobody will want to be a UN ambassador and sit on Midway Is.

BobMbx on April 11, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Frank Lib on April 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Fyi, Bishop is back.

Schadenfreude on April 11, 2014 at 2:27 PM

I know conservatives only care about blocking the Muslim terrorists…

Frank Lib on April 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Riiiiight. Because we’re all such prejudiced meanies. Nice attempt at backhanded obfuscation, Equivalence Boy.

WhatSlushfund on April 11, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Bet he’ll get food stamps and a welcome from Big Sis’ just like the Tsarnaev brothers.

viking01 on April 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM

By the way, this is a little off-topic, but did you guys see Megyn Kelly eviscerate CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper a few nights ago? I only noticed this because Robert posted it on Jihad Watch.

Part 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t64iZOuIOwQ

Part 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GolEdKa0r4

WhatSlushfund on April 11, 2014 at 3:00 PM

No problem. Just ship him in a diplomatic pouch.

I’d make sure that pouch was loaded in an unpressurized part of the plane!

freedomfirst on April 11, 2014 at 3:07 PM

The White House announced today that it would refuse to issue a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, the Iranian envoy to the United Nations, over his connection to the 1979 hostage crisis in Tehran.

Earlier this week, the Senate unanimously passed a bill backed by Ted Cruz and Chuck Schumer that would have forced the White House to refuse the visa request, although that may have been challenged in court by this or a future administration. The House quickly passed it afterward, and it’s now sitting on Barack Obama’s desk.

President Barack Obama – Profile in Courage

Mitoch55 on April 11, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Did I really need the / snark tag?

Mitoch55 on April 11, 2014 at 3:15 PM

I was going to write an appropriate comment regarding Obama’s decision, but everyone beat me to it.

‘Nuff said.

Sherman1864 on April 11, 2014 at 3:19 PM


Frank Lib on April 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM

C’mon Frank, The WU was a big lib thinktank back in the day. Now they’re all perfessers and such.

HomeoftheBrave on April 11, 2014 at 4:06 PM