Eighteen prominent US organizations sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Tuesday calling for the denial of entry visas to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation, citing national security concerns.
The letter, drafted by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), noted that Raisi is subject to American sanctions, and is a human rights violator who was a member of Iran’s notorious “death committees” that ordered the killing of thousands of Iranians.
“We are organizations of Jewish-Americans; Iranian Americans who escaped from the brutal Iranian regime; human rights activists; and New Yorkers and others across America who are at risk from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s threats to annihilate us,” the letter said.
“Remarkably, just two days after threatening to turn New York into ‘ruins and hell,’ the Islamic Republic of Iran announced that its president, Ayatollah Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, who is subject to US sanctions due to his involvement in the mass murder of thousands of Iranians, intends to attend the September 2022 United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York City.”
It added: “In order to protect US national security, we strongly, respectfully urge you to deny visas for Ayatollah Raisi and his delegation to enter the United States to attend the UNGA.”
The letter also referred to Iran’s attempts to assassinate US residents and officials in New York and other parts of the country and its use of diplomats to plot terror attacks.
“The letter also sets forth precedents for denying visas, and explains that the UN Headquarters agreement was signed subject to US law – a US authorizing resolution which includes a national security reservation,” ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said.
The ZOA noted that seven US senators also sent a letter calling on Biden to deny a visa to Raisi and that former Senator Joe Lieberman and former US Ambassador to the UN Mark Wallace urged the same in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week.
“Disappointingly, as our letter was being finalized, the US State Department announced that it intends to provide a visa to Ayatollah Raisi. We continue to urge President Biden to override this decision and to deny visas to Ayatollah Raisi and his delegation,” Klein said.