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Senator Working on Bill to Bar Iranian Officials from Attending U.N. Event

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi / Wikimedia Commons
Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi / Wikimedia Commons

Congress is moving to prevent Iran's president from entering the United States to attend U.N. proceedings but is facing resistance from the Biden administration, which says it is "obligated" to allow the hardline president into the country.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) is circulating a bill that would bar all officials tied to Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, including President Ebrahim Raisi, from obtaining the U.S. visa necessary to attend a meeting of the United Nations' General Assembly, which is taking place this month in New York City. The bill, an advance copy of which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, is expected to be introduced Wednesday afternoon.

The Biden administration has been under intense pressure from Congress and activist groups to deny Raisi a U.S. visa, particularly due to Tehran's active plots to assassinate U.S. officials such as former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser John Bolton. Cruz's bill would formalize efforts in Congress to pressure the administration into barring Raisi amid the assassination plots.

This pressure campaign has failed, however, with the Biden administration claiming it is "obligated" under U.S. law to allow Raisi into the United States. "As host nation of the U.N., the United States is generally obligated under the U.N. Headquarters Agreement to facilitate travel to the U.N. headquarters district by representatives of U.N. member states," a State Department spokesman told the Free Beacon. "We take our obligations under the U.N. Headquarters Agreement seriously."

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