The Senate passed rare bipartisan legislation Monday to give the Obama administration more leeway to prevent terrorists from representing countries at the United Nations.
The legislation, which passed unanimously, targets Hamid Aboutalebi, who has been named by the Iranian government to be its next ambassador to the world body.
Hamid Aboutalebi was a member of the militant group that seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for more than a year.
“He is a known terrorist. He participated in holding Americans hostage for 444 days, the bill’s chief sponsor, Sen. Ted. Cruz, said in an interview on Monday with CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
“Their naming him was a deliberate slap in the face. It was intended to be contemptuous to America,” the Texas Republican added.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, speaking on the Senate floor, said, “We should not further aggravate the pain of individuals and families who suffered through the hostage crisis, by allowing this individual to have a visa and diplomatic immunity in the United States.”