Twenty-nine U.S. Senators have written a letter to the Obama administration urging the denial of a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran’s new ambassador to the United Nations, over Aboutalebi’s his ties to the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis.
The recently appointed Aboutalebi was part of an extremist student group that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, taking 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days.
“It’s a disgrace if the United States government accepts Aboutalebi’s visa as Iranian Ambassador to the U.N.,” former American hostage Barry Rosen told Fox News.
The State Department expressed concern about Iran’s appointment, but stopped short of saying it will deny the visa.
“We’re taking a close look at the case now, and we’ve raised our serious concerns about this possible nomination with the government of Iran,” State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said, The Associated Press reported.