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by
Mike McNally

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April 3, 2014 - 4:54 pm

There has been outrage in the U.S. over Iran’s bid to have one of the hostage takers who stormed the American Embassy in Tehran serve as its ambassador to the UN in New York.

Twenty-nine Republican senators have written to President Obama urging him to deny a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, who was a member of a Muslim student group that took over the Embassy in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. The State Department says it’s “troubled” by the move, but has not said if it will refuse Aboutalebi a visa.

Now Aboutalebi has found support in the unlikely entirely predictable figure of former President turned globe-trotting America-basher Jimmy Carter. This evening he was interviewed on the BBC’s Newsnight programme in the UK, and asked by presenter Kirsty Wark if the U.S. should give Aboutalebi a visa, here’s what he said:

Well I hope so. I see no reason to prevent this person from serving as the official representative of Iran. You have to remember that those people who took my hostages back in 1979 were college students, they were young people and I don’t think they should be held culpable for that incident now, 35 years later.

“My hostages,” as Carter calls them, were held captive and terrorized for almost 15 months. They were subjected to beatings, solitary confinement and mock executions. And before their eventual release, eight American servicemen died in a failed mission to rescue them.

But hey, the hostage takers were just college students! At the time, Carter said the embassy staff were ”victims of terrorism and anarchy”, but thanks to the wisdom that comes with old age he can now see that the whole thing was basically just student high-jinks; Islamic Fundamentalists Gone Wild.

While Aboutalebi would certainly be in good company among the thugs, dictators and crooks who regularly make a mockery of the UN, he should never be allowed on American soil. Former Tehran hostage Barry Rosen said his presence would be “like spitting on us”.

Carter also took his usual swipes at U.S. foreign policy, saying America’s involvement in numerous conflicts “has given our country a bad reputation as far as peace and human rights is concerned”. And he said that if he were President now he’d consider pardoning Edward Snowden, saying the punishment he’s received “far outweighs” the crimes he’s committed.

With former presidents like this, who needs enemies?

 

 

Mike McNally is a journalist based in Bath, England. He posts at PJ Tatler and at his own blog Monkey Tennis, and tweets at @notoserfdom. When he's not writing about politics he writes about Photoshop.

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Top Rated Comments   
What on Earth gets into American voters that we elect such naifs as Jimmy Carter and, worse, that nasty spirited chamelion Obama, twice, into our Oval Office. To Carter's credit, he didn't [doesn't] seem to have a mean bone in his body, he thought that he was doin' th' right thing, but Obama with that mean spirited chip on his shoulder is another, actually dangerous story altogether.

What's happening to us that we seem to lose our common sense upon election day?
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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Counteroffer, Iran: turn him over for trial or ALL your visas are pulled.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about we take Aboutalebi if Iran takes cat-kiling Jimmah?
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone who believes it was a "student group" that took over the Embassy in 1979 is a moron.
It was a highly organized operation, with students and rioters as coverage. The Iranians knew if they just showed up with armed men, the Marines would have fought back, and all hell would have broken loose. By covering themselves in the blanket of students and rioters, they were able to crowd into the Embassy and take the hostages without incurring casualties.
And oh yes, former Mr. President, I was just a recent college graduate when I got to go play cat and mouse with nuclear Ivan in the North Atllantic. That sure as hell wasn't a panty raid.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
They were just a bunch of high spirited college kids, and and participated in a panty raid gone terribly wrong.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wasn't one of them Ben Gazi?
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now we know why Jimmy did so little to free the hostages. He was rooting for the students.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy Shut UP!
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm gonna buck the tide here: the visa should be granted and the good diplomat should be shown to the ambassador's suite at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
History's greatest monster.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just read the article and, try as I may, can't seem to find the words to express my thoughts though there some pretty decent comments from other posters. My first reaction would be edited out so I'll just leave it at that.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
The other day on Meet The Press, Andrea Mitchell asked Carter why President Obama hasn't called him for advice.

Maybe even Obama knows that anything that comes out of Carter's mouth should be ignored completely.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
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