Iran smacks down Republican politicians’ visa request
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (AFP/File)
Iran strongly repudiated a visa request from three US lawmakers last week.
Three Republican politicians from New York, New Jersey and Kansas applied for visas to Iran in February. In early April, when they hadn’t heard back, they wrote a slightly self-righteous letter to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
“Your staff missed their own self-imposed deadline for responding,” the Congressman wrote. “We have followed up several times with them, but to no avail.”
The US lawmakers said in the letter that they had wanted to “observe” Iran’s February elections, but missed the opportunity because of the Iran’s delay in issuing the visas.
Iran wrote a letter back to the politicians to say, “You have demanded to visit Iran and interfere in what is of no relevance to your official functions.”
“You have demanded to visit Iran and interfere in what is of no relevance to your official functions.”
“We draw your attention to the following,” said the response from Iran’s Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. “Despite what you seem to presume, members of the US Congress do not get to dictate the policies of other countries. This clearly applies to Iranian visa policies."
The Congressman also said they wanted to visit Iran in order to
A) visit American hostages;
B) visit nuclear sites; and
C) conduct briefings on the 10 American sailors who were briefly detained by Iran in January
“In spite of your claim, since 1980—when the US broke off diplomatic relations with Iran—Iranian government officials are generally barred from entering the US. We are only permitted...to enter the US to attend meetings of international organizations,” it said, adding that Iranian officials had to remain within a 25-mile radius of Columbus Circle in Manhattan.
The letter concluded by telling the Congressman, Frank LoBiondo, (N.J.-Republican), Lee Zeldin (N.Y.-Republican) and Mike Pompeo (Kan.-Republican) that their visa request was being considered a “publicity stunt," and will continue to be treated as such.
Read the full letter here.