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Republicans Move to Ban Iranian President from Entering U.S.

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi (Getty Images)
Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi (Getty Images)

Republican lawmakers are spearheading an effort to ban Iran’s president from entering the United States to attend the United Nations annual gathering next week.

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R., N.Y.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) introduced legislation on Tuesday that will make it illegal for Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation to attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The U.N.’s annual conference brings leaders from across the globe together for a week of meetings, and is often used by dictators and anti-U.S. figures as a platform to disseminate propaganda. Last year, Raisi delivered a speech that assailed the United States for withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear accord and claimed his country is a beacon of justice, comments that came as Tehran’s hardline police forces murdered pro-democracy protesters in the streets.

Republicans like Tenney and Cruz maintain that Raisi has no right to be hosted in New York City as his government fosters terrorism across the globe and launches attacks against U.S. forces and allies in the Middle East. While the legislation stands little chance of passing prior to Raisi’s arrival next week, the lawmakers say it is important to show that "terrorists are not welcome in the U.S."

"It is imperative we stop Raisi and his associates from setting foot on American soil," Tenney told the Free Beacon. "Raisi, whose nickname is ‘the Butcher of Tehran,’ has a record of grave human rights abuses and orchestrating terrorist activities worldwide." Raisi helped organize the execution of around 5,000 dissidents in the 1980s, and has defended the regime’s murders.

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