Obama Signs Ted Cruz’s Bill Blocking Iranian Envoy
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President Obama on Friday signed legislation aimed at stopping Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran’s would-be U.N. ambassador, from entering the United States.
The bill, offered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and passed unanimously in both chambers of Congress, blocks admittance to the U.S. by representatives to the United Nations determined to have “engaged in terrorist activity” against the U.S. or its allies.
Aboutalebi has admitted that he worked as a translator and negotiator for the student group that held Americans hostage in 1979 at the U.S. Embassy in Iran for 444 days. His nomination drew cries of outrage from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who accused Tehran of using the nomination as a deliberately provocative act.
Obama, in a signed statement attached to the measure, warned the legislation curtailed his “constitutional discretion” and that he planned to treat the law as “advisory.”