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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
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Senate Unanimously Passes Ban on Terrorist UN Diplomats

"This nomination is part of Iran's clear and consistent pattern of virulent anti-Americanism that has defined their foreign policy since 1979," Sen. Cruz said. "We need to send Tehran an equally clear message: The United States Senate is not going to just ignore this most recent insult, but is going to give our President the authority to affirmatively reject it."
U.S. citizen, one of the 52 held by Islamic revolutionaries during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, 1979-1981.

U.S. citizen, one of the 52 held by Islamic revolutionaries during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, 1979-1981.
Photo Credit: U.S. State Dept.

When Sen. Cruz introduced S. 2195 on April 1, he found an initiative which brought his fellow senators together in a full-throated declaration of patriotism from  across the political spectrum.

“It is unconscionable that, in the name of international diplomatic protocol, the United States would be forced to host a foreign national who showed a brutal disregard for the status of our diplomats when they were stationed in his country,” Cruz said at that time.

The bill introduced by Cruz in the Senate, and by Doug Lamborn (R-CO5) in the House, prevents terrorists from entering the United States as United Nations ambassadors. It was introduced because Iranian President Hasan Rouhani named Hamid Aboutalebi as Iran’s new ambassador to the U.N.

Aboutalebi was actively involved in the Iranian takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979. He and his comrades held hostage 52 Americans for 444 days, in one of the most painful ongoing national experiences Americans have had to endure in recent memory.

“This nomination is part of Iran’s clear and consistent pattern of virulent anti-Americanism that has defined their foreign policy since 1979,” Sen. Cruz said. “We need to send Tehran an equally clear message: The United States Senate is not going to just ignore this most recent insult, but is going to give our President the authority to affirmatively reject it.

Today, Monday, April 7, Cruz requested and received unanimous consent to pass that bill.

“I am proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this national security issue that transcends political parties,” said Sen. Cruz.

Cruz thanked several Senate colleagues who were instrumental in passage of this legislation, including Sen. Dan Coats (R-Indiana), a cosponsor of the bill, and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), John McCain (R-Arizona), Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey).

Cong. Lamborn who introduced the companion legislation in the House, H.R. 4357, plans to call for a vote in that chamber before the Easter recess.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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