On Friday, Barack Obama signed into law S2195, legislation introduced by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), which would prevent diplomats to the United Nations who have “been found to have been engaged in espionage activities or a terrorist activity.” During the signing of the law, Obama said he would treat the law only as “advisory.”
“Acts of espionage and terrorism against the United States and our allies are unquestionably problems of the utmost gravity, and I share the Congress’s concern that individuals who have engaged in such activity may use the cover of diplomacy to gain access to our nation,” Obama said.
“Nevertheless, as President [George H.W.] Bush also observed, ‘curtailing by statute my constitutional discretion to receive or reject ambassadors is neither a permissible nor a practical solution,'” he continued. “I shall, therefore, continue to treat section 407, as originally enacted and as amended by S. 2195, as advisory in circumstances in which it would interfere with the exercise of this discretion.”
The legislation came in the light of Iran’s selection of Hamid Aboutalebi as part of Iran’s UN delegation. Aboutalebi is said to have been a member of a Muslim student group, which held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days in the 1979 US Embassy seizure in Tehran under the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter.
Cruz stated on the Senate floor that the “nomination is a deliberate and unambiguous insult to the United States.”
“This is not the moment for diplomatic niceties,” he added.
“We see this kind of offensive behavior for what it is, and we will not tolerate it,” he concluded.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Friday the UN and Iran had been told “that we will not issue a visa to Mr. Aboutalebi.”
Cruz’s legislation received overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle. Following Obama’s signature, Cruz tweeted out:
Thanks to Pres. Obama for standing with a bipartisan, unanimous Congress and signing S. 2195 to #KeepTerroristsOut of the US!
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 18, 2014
The tweet followed Obama’s signing and statement calling the law “advisory.”
Apparently, Iran is dismissing the law entirely, claiming that they will take up the issue with the United Nations directly.
“We do not have a replacement for Mr. Abutalebi and we will pursue the matter via legal mechanisms anticipated in the United Nations,” Abbas Araghchi, a senior Foreign Ministry official and top nuclear negotiator, was quoted by Iran’s official IRNA news agency as saying.
Aboutalebi has claimed that he was not part of the group that took over the US embassy and was only later asked to translate for the students.
It is believed that this would be the first time the US has denied a visa for a UN ambassador. As a result, it has caused concern among diplomats that a dangerous precedent could be set.
Well, that’s too bad for them. This is our country, not theirs. They don’t make our laws. They are not entrusted with our national security. We are. So as far as this writer is concerned they can be concerned as much as they want. I’m more concerned with a man who claims that the law is only an advisory. That makes him more dangerous than any Iranian who took American hostages.
Barack Obama continues making a mockery of the law. Calling law “advisory” is to say, “I can take it or leave it; obey it or disregard it.”
Does anyone want to guess that Obama will seriously enforce this law? I’m guessing not, especially in light of the fact that Iranian born Valerie Jarrett is the one pulling the strings in the Oval Office. The push to get Trey Gowdy to become chief counsel and lead the effort to prosecute corrupt politicians needs to be advanced to deal with men like Obama who do not take the law seriously.
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