Congress backs bill to bar Iran ambassador

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved a bill that would bar Iran’s choice for ambassador to the United Nations from stepping on U.S. soil.

By voice vote, lawmakers endorsed the measure and sent it to President Barack Obama for his signature. The bill would deny entry to the United States to an individual found to be engaged in espionage, terrorism or a threat to national security.

American officials objected to the selection of Hamid Abutalebi because of his alleged participation in a Muslim student group that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days in the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

The Obama administration has told Iran the choice is unacceptable, but White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to say Thursday whether the president would sign the bill.

Associated Press

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