The senators said Thursday that the United States should not allow entry to an individual who participated in an act of terror against the U.S. and its citizens, the report said.
Hamid Aboutalebi was a member of a student group that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
Mark Kirk and Marco Rubio led the senators and said U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power should work closely with the U.N. to ensure Aboutalebi is denied entry.
The U.S. State Department says it was troubled by the selection but stopped short of saying it would refuse a visa.
Hamid Aboutalebi, who has been appointed by Hassan Rouhani as the regime’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York, has a long record of cooperation with the revolutionary guards’ intelligence, as well as with other intelligence services of the regime.
Based on investigations by the Italian Judicial Police and eye-witness accounts, he coordinated the assassination of Mohammad-hossein Naghdi, the representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Italy, on 16 March 1993.
Mohammad-hossein Naghdi, who was charge d’affaires in Rome (the Iranian government’s highest-ranking diplomat in Italy), defected and joined the Resistance in March 1982 in protest at the executions, tortures and massacres by the regime. Later as the representative of the NCRI in Italy, he actively disclosed the mullahs’ crimes and promoted the Resistance.
According to the investigation, at the time of the assassination of Naghdi, Aboutalebi entered Italy using a pseudonym and forged documents to implement this crime. The police investigation, including accounts given by an informed witness, read:
“Naghdi’s murder should be considered a political one decided by Iranian government circles and in the framework of a general project to destroy the Resistance abroad. Naghdi is targeted in Italy because of the value and extent of his political activities in Italy. He was talented in establishing connections with senior figures in Italian political circles on a national scale; he had an unquestionable humanitarian character, and loved his struggle against the Iranian regime. This assassination was decided by high-ranking political-religious figures in Tehran, and the execution of the plan was tasked to a team that had entered Italy for this specific purpose. The team had a direct connection with the diplomatic representative in Italy, and in particular with Ambassador Aboutalebi.”