Nikki Haley, former American ambassador to the United Nations has called on the Biden administration to deny a visa for the Iranian president for attending the UN General Assembly next month.
In an interview with Fox News on Friday, Haley pointed to the Justice Department charges against a member of the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) for an alleged plot to kill former national security advisor John Bolton and possibly former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"The world’s leading state sponsor of terror attempted to assassinate American officials inside our country. Under no circumstances should the Biden administration allow [Ebrahim] Raisi to set foot in our country," she said, adding, "He should not be allowed to stain American soil.”
A statement from the US Justice Department alleged Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, 45, had attempted to pay “individuals in the United States” $300,000 to carry out the killing. After the US targeted killing of Iran’s Qasem Soleimani in January 2020 in Baghdad, Iran’s top leaders have repeatedly threatened revenge against Trump administration officials, including President Donald Trump himself.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is slated to travel to New York for the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in September. Raisi – who is on the US and European sanctions list -- did not attend the high-level summit in the previous year, and only delivered a video speech.
Earlier in the month, eight US Republican senators, including Tom Cotton, March Rubio, Joni Ernst and Ted Cruz, wrote to President Joe Biden asking him to deny the visa to Raisi.