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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a bill to stop Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi from entering the U.S. as the upcoming opening session of the United Nations General Assembly approaches.
Cruz, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was joined on Wednesday in the legislation by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
“Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi would already be excluded from entering the United States for the U.N. General Assembly if President Biden and his administration were enforcing existing statutes in good faith,” Cruz wrote in a statement.
RELEASE: Sen. Cruz Introduces the SEVER Act to Ban Iranian President Raisi from Entering the United States pic.twitter.com/08bnGWXzkn
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 15, 2022
“Raisi has a record of terrorist activities, including his advocacy for the assassination of President Trump and other U.S. officials. He is also listed by the State Department as ineligible for entering the United States because of mass atrocities he committed. Nevertheless, the Biden administration seems set on circumventing these restrictions,” he added.
The Texas senator also noted that the bill, called the SEVER Act (Strengthening Entry Visa Enforcement and Restrictions Act of 2022), would also apply to a small number of other Iranians.
“The SEVER Act will deny entry to Raisi and the few dozen individuals who are hand-picked by the Ayatollah to repress the Iranian people and pose threats to American national security, to ensure they cannot get into the United States. It is well within the rights of the United States to deny them entry, and we absolutely should,” he wrote.
The legislation was introduced as the Biden administration’s efforts to renew a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran appear to have stalled in recent weeks. The agreement was put into place under former President Barack Obama. However, the effort was ended in 2018 after then-President Donald Trump pulled out, citing Iran’s repeated violations of the agreement.
In a related piece of legislation, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is also working to solidify U.S. sanctions against Iran to increase pressure on its government as it continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
The Solidify Iran Sanctions Act targets Iran’s energy needs to help thwart terrorist operations or missile development.
“From brutal abuses committed against its own people, to its never-ending threats towards free and democratic societies, the Iranian regime has proven time and again that they are a rogue state with no interest in preserving regional or global peace,” Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA) said regarding the House version of the bill.
As The Daily Wire reported in June, Iran is reportedly continuing to escalate its enrichment of uranium at its underground Fordow nuclear facility. U.N. experts believe that the nation now has the materials necessary to build a nuclear weapon.
The development was revealed in a nuclear watchdog report from the U.N. that Reuters obtained.
“IAEA inspectors verified on Saturday that Iran was ready to feed uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas, the material centrifuges enrich, into the second of two cascades, or clusters, of IR-6 centrifuges installed at Fordow, a site dug into mountain,” Reuters reported. “Iran informed the IAEA on Monday that passivation of the cascade, a process that precedes enrichment and also involves feeding UF6 into the machines, had begun on Sunday.”