UANI Statement: Iranian Delegation Must Be Held Accountable For Harassing Journalists In New York

(New York, N.Y.) — United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace released the following statement today after social media accounts presented evidence of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's delegation harassing and threatening journalists engaging in constitutionally protected activities on U.S. soil outside the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week:

“The Butcher of Tehran Ebrahim Raisi is one of the world’s leading human rights abusers and enablers of international terrorism. He never should have been afforded the privilege of entering the U.S. It is disturbing, though not at all surprising, that members of his delegation attacked Iran International TV correspondent Kian Amani. After all, his regime has a well-established track record of targeting journalists in America for both kidnapping and assassination.

“Members of Raisi’s delegation included his chief of staff, Gholamhossein Esmaili, who is under European Union sanctions for human rights abuses as a former head of Iran’s Prisons Organization. It also featured Mojtaba Amini, one of the leaders of the Islamic Republic’s siege on the U.K. embassy in Tehran in 2011, who served as the producer of ‘Gando,’ a show which glorified transnational repression and hostage taking. Likewise, Reza Naghipour was also in New York with Raisi. He used to work for Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence, which is under U.S. sanctions.

“After making two assassination threats against current and former U.S. officials while visiting New York this week, Raisi should never again be granted a visa to enter the U.S. for any purpose. The U.S. government has the sovereign right to deny him entry, irrespective of the United Nations headquarters agreement. And based on the behavior of his delegation, they, too, should never be permitted to return to the U.S., and should be sanctioned for harassing and threatening journalists on American soil. In the future, President Biden should severely restrict the composition of the Islamic Republic’s delegation to the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in order to protect the safety, rights, and freedoms of all people, including and especially members of the media working to hold the regime accountable.”

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