Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami is coming to the United States after he was granted a visa for the annual UN anniversary celebration. Harvard (of course) is offering the Iranian spokesman a forum to spread his “message”. What is astounding to me is that our government is allowing Khatami, a representative of a country which defies the U.N. by refusing to halt the production of nuclear bombs, and which calls for the destruction of Israel and the U.S. to speak at the Washington National Cathedral.
Excuse me? We are allowing him to speak in the nation’s church? In a house of Christian worship? In the church where the state funerals of Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan were held? I am wondering if we would have invited Herman Goerring to address the nation from the National Cathedral during WWII?
Are we not at war with militant Islamic fascists, such as those who govern Iran?
I was very pleased to see Senator George Allen asking the State Department to revoke the visa of Khatami. Instead, we should be imposing sanctions against Iran, with or without the ineffective U.N. and its pusillanimous leader, Kofi Annan. We can start those sanctions by revoking the visa of Khatami.
An excerpt from the letter:
While I appreciate that we are an open society that is tolerant of diverse viewpoints, I question the benefit of permitting a person who headed a regime that is a leading sponsor of terrorism, permitted human rights abuses, including repression of women and religious minorities, and presided over Iran’s secret nuclear program, which is now the focus of possible UN action, to travel without restriction in the United States. The actions of the Iranian government under President Khatami include the expenditure of billions of dollars on nuclear reactors and sophisticated weapons and the failure to implement reforms that are necessary for Iran to abide by its treaty obligations. Granting this travel visa gives support to the current Iranian strategy of stalling action while it builds its nuclear capabilities and dividing the tentative coalition of states opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
For the full text of Senator Allen’s letter go here.