Senators urge US to deny visa to Iran ambassador


WASHINGTON (AP) — Twenty-nine Republican senators have written to President Barack Obama urging him to deny a visa to a former hostage-taker who is Iran's choice for ambassador to the United Nations.

The senators said Thursday that the United States should not allow entry to an individual who participated in an act of terror against the U.S. and its citizens.

Hamid Aboutalebi was a member of a Muslim student group that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Mark Kirk and Marco Rubio led the senators and said U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power should work closely with the U.N. to ensure Aboutalebi is denied entry.

The State Department says it was troubled by the selection but stopped short of saying it would refuse a visa.

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