Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has joined in the outrage of many former Americans held hostage in Tehran for 444 days nearly 35 years ago over Iran's move to make one of the hostage handlers its next ambassador to the United Nations.
In a move that is expected to win bipartisan support, he has demanded that President Obama block the move and offered new legislation to give the president the right to prevent terrorists from obtaining U.S. visas, even as diplomats.
“It is unconscionable that, in the name of international diplomatic protocol, the United States would be forced to host a foreign national who showed a brutal disregard for the status of our diplomats when they were stationed in his country,” said Cruz.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has named Hamid Aboutalebi as his U.N. ambassador and filed a visa application to let him in. He has been described as one of the hostage takers and as a translator during the 1979-1981 event that helped to cost former President Jimmy Carter his reelection.
In a floor speech Tuesday, Cruz quoted the recent movie "Argo" about the hostage crisis when he asked Tehran, “don't you have a better bad idea than this?”
His legislation could be voted on later this week.
Cruz said that the appointment of Aboutalebi should end the speculation in the White House and Foggy Bottom that Iran’s new president wants to be friendly with America. “This action should serve as a wakeup call. That regime in Tehran is directed by the same policies that resulted in the hostage crisis in the first place,” said Cruz.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.