In Washington, the House on Thursday unanimously followed the Senate by approving a bill designed to keep Iran’s UN ambassador, Hamid Abutalebi, from taking his post in New York. Abutalebi has been linked to the terrorists who took over the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979 and held 52 Americans for 444 days.
The Iranian resistance last week disclosed that Italian police considered him a suspect in the assassination of top Iranian dissidents in Rome in 1993.
Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, and Rep. Doug Lamborn, Colorado Republican, sponsored the bill in both houses and urged President Obama to sign it quickly.
“We, as a country, can send an unequivocal message to rouge nations like Iran that the United States will not tolerate this kind of provocative and hostile behavior,” Cruz said.
Lamborn marveled at a rare bipartisan unity in the politically divided Congress.
“It is great to see Congress send a strong, bipartisan message that Iranian evildoers will be treated like terrorists, not tourists,” he said.
The bill would prevent foreign diplomats assigned to the United Nations from entering the United States if they are linked to espionage or terrorism or pose a threat to national security.
In Brussels, the European Parliament set of howls of protests in Tehran by passing what one member called a “moderately critical resolution” against Iranian human rights abuses.
“This hysterical reaction of the Iranian regime to the European Parliament’s resolution underlines the need for a continuing firm policy against the barbaric violation of human rights, nuclear projects and regional warmongering,” said Struan Stevenson, the parliament’s chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran Caucus.
Stevenson noted the venomous reaction of top Iranian leaders. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced the European Parliament, claiming it has no “moral ground to impose its views on other countries.”
Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi dismissed members of the European Parliament as “four-legged animals.”
He railed against the Europeans for criticizing Iran’s unrestrained executions for affronts to the Iranian revolution from political dissent to homosexuality.
“It’s none of your damn business!” declared Naghdi, commander of the Basij force, a paramilitary gang of thugs.
Movahedi Kermani, leader of Friday prayers in Tehran, scolded the European Union for seeking to open an office in Tehran and advised the EU to learn from the takeover of the U.S. Embassy 35 years ago.
“The Iranian people will not allow the opening of another den of spies,” he said.
James Morrison was Deputy Foreign Editor of the Washington Times
April 11, 2014