Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a member of the House Appropriations Defense, and State and Foreign Operations Subcommittees, released the following statement:
There are some very positive aspects to having the United Nations headquartered in the United States, but one of the extremely distasteful though necessary responsibilities of being the host nation is that we are obligated to issue visas to even the most despicable foreign leaders -- such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, President Ahmadinejad's presence in our country must not take place without comment. We will use this opportunity to remind him and the world that the United States stands foursquare against Iran's reckless and dangerous pursuit of nuclear weapons. We have to make certain that he returns home without an iota of doubt that America will not permit Iran to possess the ability to make a nuclear bomb.
This is a leader who makes it a common practice to threaten the security of the United States and our interests abroad -- including blatantly calling for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. President Ahmadinejad may technically be allowed in our country, but he won't be welcome.
It is important for Americans to express our collective disgust with President Ahmadinejad's policies on a wide array of issues. These range from his denying freedom for women and punishing homosexuality, to Ahmadinejad's virulent anti-Semitic denials of the Holocaust and the ruthless repression of groups who speak out against the Iranian government.
President Ahmadinejad is not worthy of setting foot in our great country. The backdrop of the United States as the host nation for the United Nations -- with our widespread liberty and freedom -- will provide a strong and clear contrast to the brutish, tyrannical, and deranged President of Iran for the entire world to see.