Granting Visa To Iranian FM Sparks Strong Criticism In The US

The decision to grant a visa to the Iranian foreign minister to attend the emergency meeting of the UNGA has ignited fierce criticism in the United States.

Joni Ernst, a Republican Senator, took to X to express her concern, stating, “While Iran-backed terrorists have attacked our servicemembers and are currently holding Americans hostage, the Biden administration has granted a top Iranian official a visa — welcoming this regime on US soil with open arms. The appeasement must end.”

FM Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is visiting New York to take part in the emergency meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, scheduled for Thursday, to discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict. He is set to speak following representatives from Palestine, Israel, and Jordan.

Jason Brodsky, the Policy Director at United Against Nuclear Iran, raised serious reservations about the visa issuance, pointing out that the Iranian foreign minister had participated in planning meetings for the recent Hamas attack on Israel. Brodsky also noted that there is an exception in the US UN Host Agreement that allows for the denial of entry to foreign officials for UN meetings in cases of security, terrorism, and foreign policy concerns. He argued that this exception should have been invoked in Amir-Abdollahian’s case.

Former State Department advisor on Iran, Gabriel Noronha, also criticized the visa decision. He questioned the rationale behind granting a visa to the foreign minister of a country that has been accused of funding Hamas, which has targeted and killed Americans. Noronha highlighted that the US has the legal right to block the entry of such individuals, citing precedents like the denial of entry to Yasser Arafat and Javad Zarif in the past.

Originally Published in Iran International.