A bipartisan group of lawmakers and more than 500 Iranian-American professionals sent letters to President Joe Biden asking that Iran President Ebrahim Raisi be denied entry into the country later this month.
Raisi is scheduled to appear at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. The assembly's 77th session will be held Sept. 13-27.
Rep. Young Kim, R-Calif., wrote to Biden on behalf of 51 other members of Congress asking Biden to "deny Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation entry into the United States."
"Given Ebrahim Raisi's record of supporting terrorism and violating human rights, he should not be afforded the privilege to step onto American soil nor the privilege to address the United Nations General Assembly," Young's Thursday letter said.
"We cannot turn a blind eye to perpetrators of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights and cruel regimes that endanger both their people and Americans."
The letter from Iranian-American scientists, scholars and industry executives to Biden on Thursday called for "strong and immediate actions to reflect that Raisi does not represent the people of Iran and therefore must be denied an entry visa to the United States," The Washington Times reported.
"For over a century, the people of Iran have struggled for freedom from the tyranny of the Shah and the mullahs currently ruling in Iran," said the signatories, led by the Iranian Professionals' Ad Hoc Committee on Iran Policy.
"We ask that you stand with the people of Iran in their demands for peace, freedom and a non-nuclear, secular Republic of Iran."
The letter joined other Iranian opposition groups who have asked that the cleric, who remains under U.S. sanctions for human rights abuses, be denied entry into the country.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month also called on Biden to deny Raisi entry into the U.S. amid reported active terror and assassination plots.
"We worked for four years to deny Iranian terrorists the freedom to put Americans at risk," Pompeo, one of the reported targets of the plots, told The Washington Free Beacon. "This administration is allowing them to come to New York City while actively engaged in efforts to kill Americans on U.S. soil."
The Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC), a group allied with the Iranian dissident group the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, lined the National Mall last month with thousands of photos of Iranians who were killed during the 1988 executions of political prisoners, The Washington Times reported.
It was revealed early last month, just days after Iran's state media implied a nuclear threat against the U.S., that Raisi might attend the General Assembly session
Iran spokesman Ali Bahadori-Jahromi on Aug. 1, said that "preliminary planning" had begun for Raisi to travel to New York as early as Sept. 13.
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