The Senate unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz Monday night, which would block known terrorists from getting visas to enter the United States as U.N. ambassadors.
He thanked several senators by name on the Senate floor he said were “instrumental in the passage,” including Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat and a very unlikely ally.
Iran’s newest U.N. ambassador, Hamid Aboutalebi, was an active participant in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, when 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days in Tehran. He was appointed earlier this year by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani.
Shchumer said in a statement reported by The New York Daily News that the nomination was “totally inappropriate.”
“It may be a case of strange bedfellows,” said Schumer, “but I’m glad Senator Cruz and I were able to work out a bill that would prevent this terrorist from stepping foot on American soil.”
“There are no circumstances in which the U.S. should grant such a person a visa,” Cruz said before the Senate. Given the threat represented by Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he said, “this is not the moment for diplomatic niceties.”
The bill will have to pass the House before reaching the President’s desk. Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn introduced a companion bill last week with 34 cosponsors, which has been referred to committee.
Senator Cruz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.