6-9: How Dare Iran Deny Visas to Americans?

With all the election year talk about immigration–to America–it is a bit ironic, if not down right humorous, that Iran has denied visas to three U.S. Congresspersons. Here is the story as reported by The Hilt:

Iran on Tuesday mocked an attempt by three Republican lawmakers to visit the country, calling their request an “ironic” and “inappropriate” “publicity stunt.” Pretty accurate description, which will be obvious below.

The three lawmakers — Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) — made formal requests in February to visit the country, inspect its nuclear sites and meet with an American held captive. Well, that is a bold request. First, as an American, I would like to know their credentials for inspecting nuclear facilities. What, specifically, would they do at the nuclear sites? On a less frivolous note, meeting with the captive seems humane, but we know nothing would come of the visit more than, as the Iranians said, a “publicity stunt.”

But months later, the Iran Foreign Ministry has dismissed the request as illegitimate. No surprise there. And they are right to do so.

“In sum, we consider your visa request to have been a publicity stunt and not an appropriate request to visit a sovereign country; and it has, and will continue to be, treated in that spirit,” Iran said in a letter sent to them via the State Department and released to Iranian news outlets. I agree. Would the U.S., or any other country for that matter, honor such silly requests? Of course not.

“Despite what you seem to presume, members of the U.S. Congress do not get to dictate the policies of other countries,”… Heck, the American Congress has done little in the way of advancing any proposals during Obama’s two terms.

The word hubris comes to mind. These three congresspersons have shown nothing but bloviated self-perception in expecting the Iranians to grant them visas on idiotic premises. They do all Americans a disservice with–I agree–their publicity stunt. It also shows either their ignorance of or disregard for diplomatic channels. Their actions demonstrate blatant disrespect for the State Department and the steps it has taken to deal with the Iranian nuclear program.

It bothers me that duly elected members of our legislature can embarrass all of us by their outright stupidity. What bothers me more, though, is that those same idiots and their ilk have a huge say in whether or not to send and keep our soldiers in war zones. It should strike no one as strange that these three blowhards didn’t request permission to go into Iraq to “inspect” something or other, or to go to Somalia and interview a warlord or two about what they hope to accomplish through piracy. No. They wouldn’t do that.

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