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Washington - Senator Seeks to Ban Iranian President From U.S.

Published on: April 30, 2010 07:36 AM
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Washington - With diplomats in New York saying that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could attend next week’s United Nations conference on a nuclear weapons treaty, Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, a member of leadership, penned a letter Thursday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking that the foreign leader be barred from entry into the U.S. The conference is set to review the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at its headquarters in New York starting Monday.

“This is preposterous, and allowing it to happen will make a mockery of the effort to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue states and terrorist groups. There is simply no compelling reason for Ahmadinejad to be allowed to enter the United States,” Cornyn says in the letter, obtained by Fox News and to be released on Friday, with the senator noting that Iran is still designated a state sponsor of terrorism.

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This comes amid increasing tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and what western countries believe is its intention to develop nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad has maintained that his country wants nuclear power for energy purposes not to make bombs. Both the UN and Congress are considering the imposition of additional sanctions against Tehran.

A State Department spokesman said Thursday that the Iranian delegation presented applications for visas this morning at the U.S. embassy in Bern. Those visas, the spokesman said, are being processed.

Cornyn, a member of the Judiciary Committee and former judge on the TX Supreme Court, cites a section of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 and states, “…your Department can deny a nonimmigrant visa to any alien from a country that is so designated, regardless of that alien’s official status. As such, the U.S. Government has the legal authority to deny Ahmadinejad’s request and bar his entry – even if he is transiting only to the UN.”

Secretary Clinton told reporters Thursday, according to the Associated Press, that the Iranian President would not be permitted to cause a disturbance at the conference, but Cornyn, in his letter that he is circulating to colleagues for signature, says Ahmadinejad should not be granted entry under any circumstances.

“The mission of those of us going to New York to review, revise and reinvigorate the NPT regime is very clear. If that’s not his mission, then it won’t be a particularly useful or productive trip on his part,” Clinton said.

“If he believes that by coming he can somehow divert attention from this very important global effort or cause confusion that might possibly throw into doubt what Iran has been up to ... then I don’t believe he will have a particularly receptive audience,” the secretary said.

Cornyn says in his letter, which he is circulating to colleagues for their signature, that should the Iranian President be permitted entry into the U.S., “We request that you severely restrict his movement, limiting it to the UN Headquarters District. “

Members of Congress have, in the past, tried to bar entry for the Iranian leader. The U.S. has, at times in the past, barred entry into the U.S. for some Iranian officials.

A COPY OF THE LETTER GIVEN TO FOX NEWS:

April 30, 2010

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

It is our understanding that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is seeking authorization to enter the United States next week to address a United Nations (UN) conference on nuclear non-proliferation efforts. Obama Administration officials in the State Department have reportedly indicated that Ahmadinejad’s request will likely be granted. This is preposterous, and allowing it to happen will make a mockery of the effort to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue states and terrorist groups. There is simply no compelling reason for Ahmadinejad to be allowed to enter the United States.

As you know, Iran remains a U.S.-designated “state sponsor of international terrorism” under federal law, based on its support for acts of international terrorism. Pursuant to section 306 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, P.L. 107-173 (8 U.S.C. § 1735), your Department can deny a nonimmigrant visa to any alien from a country that is so designated, regardless of that alien’s official status. As such, the U.S. Government has the legal authority to deny Ahmadinejad’s request and bar his entry – even if he is transiting only to the UN (See 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(C); 1182(d)(8); (f), and (3)(A) thru (C)). We ask that you exercise that authority. Alternatively, if you insist on allowing Ahmadinejad to enter the country, we request that you severely restrict his movement, limiting it to the UN Headquarters District.

According to your agency’s most recent Country Reports on Terrorism (April 2009), Iran is in fact “the most significant state sponsor of terrorism” in the world, having “long employed terrorism to advance its key national security and foreign policy interests, which include regime survival, regional dominance, opposition to Arab-Israeli peace, and countering western influence, particularly in the Middle East.” Your report specifically indicates that Iran continues to hinder the Middle East peace process by using the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to arm, train, and fund militants and terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Lebanese Hizballah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Moreover, the report suggests that Iran and its leaders have directly contributed to the deaths of Americans. It states that Iran’s IRGC cultivates and supports certain Iraqi Shi’a militant groups that target U.S., Iraqi, and Coalition forces. Iran has also supplied weapons and training to Taliban members in Afghanistan, threatening both Afghan and NATO troops and undermining our efforts in that country. These actions have certainly increased the number of deaths of American combat troops in these theaters of conflict.

In addition, as both the UN and the U.S. Congress consider the imposition of additional sanctions against Iran—sanctions that you have said should be “crippling”—Iran, defying all warnings from the international community, continues to pursue the acquisition of nuclear weapons. As President Obama recognized when Iran revealed its second uranium enrichment facility near Qom last year, “the size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program.” Further, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair testified to Congress on February 3, 2010, that “Iran is technically capable of producing enough [highly enriched uranium] for a weapon in the next few years.” Ahmadinejad’s motivations to acquire these weapons of mass destruction could not be more apparent, as he unequivocally stated on October 26, 2005, “to those who doubt, to those who ask is it possible or those who do not believe, I say accomplishment of a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible.”

As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently told reporters, he is “unaware of any concrete ideas” that Ahmadinejad plans to unveil before the UN. Ahmadinjehad has been given ample time and opportunity to prove to the world that he is not developing nuclear weapons. Iran, under Ahmadinejad’s leadership, has a documented history of threatening the interests and security of the United States and our allies. Allowing Ahmadinejad to enter the United States would serve only to grant this man a symbolic stage from which to spew his rhetoric against our nation and our allies in the global war on terror.

As head of the State Department, the official agency with responsibility over visa issuance, we strongly urge you, based upon the statutory authorities and facts outlined in this letter, to deny Ahmadinejad entry into the United States. Thank you for your prompt consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN

United States Senator


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Read Comments (19)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 30, 2010 at 08:00 AM Anonymous Says:

Go, Cornyn, go! If only Obama would realize that not only is this man putting Israel into danger. He is an enemy of the USA too!

2

 Apr 30, 2010 at 07:48 AM power up Says:

This is the reason america was hijacked on september 11, this is the reason we are spending trillions on wars on terror, if would would start acting streetsmart instead of booksmart, we might have a chance of winning the battle.

3

 Apr 30, 2010 at 07:47 AM bob Says:

hope he is our next secatary of state

4

 Apr 30, 2010 at 08:22 AM Israeli Says:

Not a very good idea. Whether you like it or not he is the leader of a major Middle Eastern country and it is unthinkable that the US should not allow to enter the country the head of a state with which it has diplomatic relations.
If the US really believes that Iran is a terrorist sponsor it should break off diplomatic relations and refuse all contacts etc. until the terrorism stops. As it should with all "terrorist" states.
Indeed if the US were really the great defender of freedom it claims to be it would not have diplomatic and commercial relations etc. with any country that is not an open democracy with open, free and fair elections and a recognised opposition. Talk about double standards and hypocrisy.
Imagine if some senator or group were to try the same thing the next time an major Israeli politician were slated to come to US.

5

 Apr 30, 2010 at 08:38 AM FYI Says:

Reply to #4  
Israeli Says:

Not a very good idea. Whether you like it or not he is the leader of a major Middle Eastern country and it is unthinkable that the US should not allow to enter the country the head of a state with which it has diplomatic relations.
If the US really believes that Iran is a terrorist sponsor it should break off diplomatic relations and refuse all contacts etc. until the terrorism stops. As it should with all "terrorist" states.
Indeed if the US were really the great defender of freedom it claims to be it would not have diplomatic and commercial relations etc. with any country that is not an open democracy with open, free and fair elections and a recognised opposition. Talk about double standards and hypocrisy.
Imagine if some senator or group were to try the same thing the next time an major Israeli politician were slated to come to US.

FYI the us don't have any diplomatic isues with Iran it's only trough Switzerland they don't have any offical ties with Iran

6

 Apr 30, 2010 at 09:15 AM Hezy Says:

Would the US have allowed Hitler to visit America? Why are the letting in an guy who is ten times worse? Insane!

7

 Apr 30, 2010 at 09:20 AM Anonymous Says:

Banning him from going to a u.n. meeting will just give the attention and support that he is seeking in the Arab world. I say let him go to the meeting, but ignore him while he is here. If he is kept out, he will say he tried to come talk and work out resolutions to the differences, but the u.s. won't even let him talk.

8

 Apr 30, 2010 at 09:25 AM Ed Greenberg Says:

Since he's on U.N. business, aren't we stuck with him?

9

 Apr 30, 2010 at 10:00 AM Conservative One Says:

You don't really expect this lying Clinton to do anything decent. She kisses Suha Arafat and then says it was a mistake when she is running for the Senator of the State with the largest Jewish population. As soon as she becomes Secretary of State she reverts back to her old ways. I am sure when she will try to run again in New York she will lie again (because that's all the Clintons can do) and these stupid liberal Upper East Side Jews will again believe her because Liberalism is a Disease.

10

 Apr 30, 2010 at 10:07 AM mendel from dallas Says:

Reply to #4  
Israeli Says:

Not a very good idea. Whether you like it or not he is the leader of a major Middle Eastern country and it is unthinkable that the US should not allow to enter the country the head of a state with which it has diplomatic relations.
If the US really believes that Iran is a terrorist sponsor it should break off diplomatic relations and refuse all contacts etc. until the terrorism stops. As it should with all "terrorist" states.
Indeed if the US were really the great defender of freedom it claims to be it would not have diplomatic and commercial relations etc. with any country that is not an open democracy with open, free and fair elections and a recognised opposition. Talk about double standards and hypocrisy.
Imagine if some senator or group were to try the same thing the next time an major Israeli politician were slated to come to US.

Get your facts straight we don't have diplomatic relations with iran since 1979

Maybe you were not born then but iran hijacked all the people in the american embassy then for a few years

I think he should be able to talk in the un but not walk the streets on new york he should have to stay in a hotel on first av but not be able to hold speeches in universities and press conferences in hotels

11

 Apr 30, 2010 at 10:12 AM Anonymous Says:

Not only will Obama let him in but he will assign Yankel Bauer to protect him.

12

 Apr 30, 2010 at 10:18 AM Anonymous Says:

It takes a gentile from Texas to have the guts to do this. The Schumers, Wieners, etc... talk a good game in front of the Biedermans and Zweibels but do nothing after they get our votes.

13

 Apr 30, 2010 at 10:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

Not only will Obama let him in but he will assign Yankel Bauer to protect him.

Lol

14

 Apr 30, 2010 at 12:14 PM Wheres Schumer? Says:

Schumer? Schumer? Hello, Schumer, are you there? Oh looks like I had the wrong number sorry.
He doesn't give a rats bottom about us. We need a Senator from Texas to stand up for us. If that isn't a sad state of affairs I don't know what is.

15

 Apr 30, 2010 at 01:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Israeli Says:

Not a very good idea. Whether you like it or not he is the leader of a major Middle Eastern country and it is unthinkable that the US should not allow to enter the country the head of a state with which it has diplomatic relations.
If the US really believes that Iran is a terrorist sponsor it should break off diplomatic relations and refuse all contacts etc. until the terrorism stops. As it should with all "terrorist" states.
Indeed if the US were really the great defender of freedom it claims to be it would not have diplomatic and commercial relations etc. with any country that is not an open democracy with open, free and fair elections and a recognised opposition. Talk about double standards and hypocrisy.
Imagine if some senator or group were to try the same thing the next time an major Israeli politician were slated to come to US.

No, it does not have official diplomatic relations with Iran.

16

 Apr 30, 2010 at 01:45 PM Anonymous Says:

but obama does not have an problem that he is coming so..

17

 Apr 30, 2010 at 02:35 PM Anonymous Says:

They should arrest him. The people of Iran would celebrate and the world would be rid of mass murderer. Why would we even thing of allowing him into our country?

18

 May 01, 2010 at 07:23 PM Israeli Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

No, it does not have official diplomatic relations with Iran.

I haven't checked this so I take your word for it.
US certainly has has major commercial links with Iran e.g. Microsoft and Coca Cola to mention just a couple, to say nothing of the oil.
Iran in common with many of the US's overseas friends, and unlike Israel, deprives its citizens of many basic human rights including, but certainly not only, normal democracy and freedom of religion so the basic points I made still hold true.

19

 May 02, 2010 at 09:56 PM AMALEK Says:

the amalek of our genaration.

20

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