Give visa to Iran’s UN rep now!
How can the U.S. government stop Hamid Aboutalebi from being the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations? They say it’s because Congress and President Barack Obama collaborated on passing legislation denying a visa to the Iranian diplomat.
In a 1947 treaty, the U.S. promised to allow access to the U.N. by any foreign envoy. Without this agreement, the U.N. never would have been headquartered in New York City.
Making New York the world’s diplomatic capital has resulted in thousands of jobs and at least $3.3 billion in annual local business. (www.betterworldcampaign.org)
Breaking treaties, like the 1947 agreement with the U.N., is nothing new to U.S. imperialism. The U.S. government has broken over 300 treaties with sovereign Native nations.
The U.S. has no more right to prevent Hamid Aboutalebi from coming to the U.N. than it would have in stopping him from going to Australia, Belgium or Italy. Aboutalebi has served as Iran’s ambassador to all three countries.
Even when two states are at war, they’re not supposed to prevent each other from sending diplomats to neutral countries. Envoys can be sent through war zones by countries not involved in the conflict.
This necessary provision of international law is even reflected in Article 1, Section 6, of the U.S. Constitution. Members of Congress cannot be arrested for minor offenses while going to or from Washington while Congress is in session. Without this provision, Virginia and Maryland could control congressional votes by barring representatives and senators whom they disliked.
Yet U.S. imperialism is dictating to Iran’s 78 million people who can represent them at the U.N.
Denying a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi is another case of the U.S. military-industrial complex imposing its laws on the rest of the planet.
Extraterritoriality: a weapon of colonialism
That’s the old colonial weapon of extraterritoriality, whose most flagrant current example is the vicious U.S. economic blockade of Cuba, which is even forbidden from buying medicine from the U.S.
Last year, the U.N. voted 188 to 2 to condemn this blockade, which Yankee imperialism imposed over 50 years ago.
Ignoring world public opinion, the Helms-Burton law imposes the blockade of Cuba in other countries, via U.S. corporate subsidiaries. One of the authors of this vile legislation was Jesse Helms, the late Ku Klux Klan senator from North Carolina.
In 2007, a 14-member Cuban delegation was prevented from staying in Oslo’s Scandic Edderkoppen hotel, since it was owned by the U.S.-based Hilton hotel chain. In response, the Norwegian labor movement threatened a boycott of Hilton.
Britain imposed extraterritoriality on China in 1841 after invading the country for the unholy purpose of selling opium. Extraterritoriality meant British, U.S. and other foreign merchants accused of crimes were tried in special courts, not under Chinese law.
Opium salesman James Delano — a grandfather of President Franklin Roosevelt — was one of the beneficiaries of extraterritoriality.
In those days, a Shanghai park actually brandished the sign, “No Chinese or dogs allowed.” The Chinese socialist revolution of 1949 put an end to this kind of racist obscenity.
Now, under threat of being frozen out of the U.S. financial system, European and Japanese banks freeze Iranian accounts. Iran is forced to conduct much of its foreign trade via barter.
Phony hostage issue
The flimsy excuse used to deny a visa to Ambassador Aboutalebi is that in 1979, when he was 22 years old, he occasionally translated for the Iranian students occupying the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
The embassy was, in fact, a spy nest. It had given diplomatic cover to CIA agents like Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of “Teddy” Roosevelt, who later wrote a book bragging about how he organized the 1953 coup that restored the Iranian dictator — the Shah — who was a front for ExxonMobil and other U.S. and British oil monopolies.
As revealed in documents found by the Iranian students, U.S. Embassy personnel gave orders to the SAVAK torturers, the Shah’s secret police.
No U.S. personnel were harmed during the Iranian occupation of Wall Street’s embassy. By contrast, in that same period, Cuban diplomat Félix García Rodríguez was assassinated in Queens, N.Y., on Sept. 11, 1980. The murder was committed by a member of Omega 7, one of many terrorist organizations given protection by the U.S. government. The political prisoners known as the Cuban 5 were later jailed for investigating similar anti-Cuban terrorists.
The occupation of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran is just an excuse to cover a U.S. government violation of international law. A visa must be granted to Ambassador Hamid Aboutalebi, now!