Off the Record

Greta: No time for diplomatic hand-wringing over Iran's United Nations ambassador pick

'Off the Record', 4/7/14: The Obama admin should decide now and fast to deny a visa for Iran's United Nations ambassador pick over his involvement in the 1979 hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.


By Greta Van Susteren

Let's go "Off the Record" for a minute. And I hope President Obama doesn't go all wobbly on us.

Now, what am I talking about? Hamid Aboutalebi. He's Iran's new ambassador at the U.N. But, that's not the big item on his resume. It should be criminal or even terrorist. In 1979, he was part of the U.S. embassy hostage crisis in Tehran. And he got away with that and now, though he needs a visa to come to the United States where the U.N. is, and that should be a no - no visa. Why would we allow him in our country, especially with diplomatic immunity so we come and arrest him and try him for what he did in 1979?

I don't want him here, neither does the Senate. They just passed unanimously - passed in Ted Cruz's bill - to deny a visa to Iran's U.N. ambassador. This man helped terrorize 52 Americans for more than a year, locked in a room, tied to chairs, forced them play Russian Roulette, mock firing squad, never knowing if they were about to be executed.

Yes, I know he says he was only a translator and negotiator. I hope President Obama doesn't fall for that one. That's called co-conspirator; another word, guilty.

Yes, there is also that 1947 agreement to grant entry visas to representatives to the U.N. member states. But my thought? So what? 1947 was pre-Internet. We now have the Internet. Let him Skype to the U.N. from Iran, or here is another idea: Iran could just pick somebody else. Not a criminal or a terrorist.

So, this one is easy. The Obama administration should cut short all the drama of diplomatic hand ringing decide now and fast. Stand with those 52 Americans. No visa. And that's my "Off the Record" comment tonight.