Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the administration of President Joe Biden this week to deny an entry visa to Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, who plans to travel to New York next month to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly.
“We worked for four years to deny Iranian terrorists the freedom to put Americans at risk,” Pompeo said in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon.
“This administration is allowing them to come to New York City while actively engaged in efforts to kill Americans on US soil. The Iranians just recently sponsored an attack that was almost successful in killing an American in that very city,” he noted, in a reference to the recent near-fatal stabbing of Iranian ex-pat author Salman Rushdie. “We can do better.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry denied any responsibility by Tehran for the attack, spokesperson Nasser Kanaani told reporters. “We categorically deny” any link to the attack, he said. “No one has the right to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
However, he added, “By insulting the sacred matters of Islam and crossing the red lines of more than one and a half billion Muslims and all followers of the divine religions, Salman Rushdie has exposed himself to the anger and rage of the people.”
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley likewise urged the Biden Administration to block Raisi from entering the country in a tweet on Wednesday.
Iran's Supreme Leader is openly trying to execute Americans on our soil.
The United States should sanction him as a terrorist, not shake hands and do a deal with him. https://t.co/fVYelS0AiW
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) August 17, 2022
Moreover, the United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) organization went even further, urging Biden to designate Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist” under US Executive Order 13224 and other international terrorism authorities.
UANI is headed by Mark Wallace, former US Ambassador to the UN for Management and Reform. Its chairperson is former Connecticut US Senator Joe Liberman.
““We urge the United Nations, the European Union, and the United Kingdom to also use their respective authorities to sanction Khamenei as a terrorist. His regime represents a clear and present danger to the international community. For far too long, Khamenei has been allowed to hide behind his presidents and religious piety to avoid international scrutiny,” the group said in a statement on its site.
“It is time to hold him personally accountable.”