Flashback: Biden, U.N. Hosted ‘Butcher of Tehran’ President Raisi in NY Against GOP Opposition

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (L) and United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Gute
Iranian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Biden administration faced fierce GOP opposition last year after its decision to host the recently deceased Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi — a Holocaust denier dubbed the “Butcher of Tehran” for his role in the mass executions of tens of thousands of political prisoners — in New York to attend the 2023 United Nations session. 

On Sunday, search teams reportedly located the site where a helicopter carrying the Iranian president crashed, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the state’s news agency. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other officials were also reportedly on board the helicopter that went missing in a mountainous area amid fog, rain, and cold weather.

Iranian state-run media later declared that Raisi had died.

Raisi, who once held a seat on the Central Committee of the nation’s “death commissions” and whose death could potentially trigger a succession battle and destabilize the regime, has an extensive record of ordering mass executions of opponents of the Islamic regime and is accused of involvement in a range of egregious human rights abuses, including the execution of thousands of political prisoners, including pregnant women and teenage girls.

Under Raisi’s watch, impunity was granted to security forces and government officials responsible for violent crackdowns on protests in 2019, when over 1,000 protesters were killed. He has also been widely condemned for his role as a member of the infamous 1988 “death commission” that saw some 30,000 political prisoners tortured and hanged.

In addition, Raisi has appointed terrorists and anti-Western hardliners in top ministerial positions, including an interior minister wanted by Interpol for his role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires as well as a foreign minister with close links to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group.

Following news of the crash, Iranians globally were seen celebrating the possible death of Raisi, with social media and diaspora communities expressing joy and sharing footage of fireworks.

Maryam Rajavi, who serves as President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), whose members were brutally murdered by Raisi, stated that the Iranian leader’s death “represents a monumental and irreparable strategic blow to the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the entire regime, notorious for its executions and massacres.” 

“It will trigger a series of repercussions and crises within theocratic tyranny, which will spur rebellious youths into action,” she added.

Rajavi also declared that “the curse of mothers and those seeking justice for the executed, along with the damnation of the Iranian people and history, mark the legacy” of Raisi, who she described as the “notorious perpetrator of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.”

Last year, Republicans spoke out against the decision to allow Raisi to enter the US and attend the 78th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, especially in light of U.S. sanctions against him for “complicity in serious human rights violations.”

In a letter addressed to President Biden in September, GOP Senators Rick Scott (FL), Katie Boyd Britt  (AL), Chuck Grassley (IA), Ted Budd (NC), and Tom Cotton (AR) highlighted Raisi’s role as leader of the world’s “largest state sponsor of terror.” 

“There are no excuses for his regime’s active involvement in terrorism and its threats against former US officials and the national security of the United States, Israel, and our allies,” they insisted.  

The senators demanded that he and his delegation “not be permitted to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York City,” citing Raisi’s “many actions” that demonstrate his “unapologetic sympathy and support for the world’s most evil and dangerous monsters.”

“Dictators and thugs with a track record of sponsoring terrorism & undermining democracy have NO place in the U.S., let alone the @UN,” Sen. Scott wrote on Saturday.

“@JoeBiden needs to end his weak appeasement policies & deny the Iranian and Cuban delegations’ visas immediately,” he added.

Sen. Britt slammed the “disgraceful decision,” calling it the “latest in a long line of dangerous appeasement by the Biden Administration.”

Accusing President Biden of “sending a clear message to the world that the United States of America tolerates terrorism,” the Alabama senator insisted that “the safety and security of all Americans is gravely imperiled by President Biden’s continued blunders on the global stage.”

“Murderers shouldn’t get US visas,” proclaimed Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), who had called on the Biden administration to block Raisi’s visa. “This administration is opening the door for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi into the U.S. while he assassinates dissidents and ignores basic human rights.”

“Welcoming tyrants, like Díaz-Canel, Maduro, Ayatollah Raisi, or Ortega to our nation, sends a horrible message to the countless victims who have suffered under their authoritarian grip,” wrote Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).

“The image of mass murderer & terrorist leader Ebrahim Raisi arriving in America, a country he hates & pledges death to, is disgusting and sends a signal of weakness,” wrote Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC).

“Biden insults our allies while welcoming a terrorist to America & giving them $ for mass murder,” he added.

“Iran’s President Raisi is a serial human rights abuser and a mass murderer with a history of targeting Americans,” wrote Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst.

“The Butcher of Tehran should not be afforded the privilege of stepping on American soil, but is being welcomed by the UN,” she added.

“President Raisi helped organize the execution of around 5,000 dissidents in the 1980s and is scheduled to speak in the U.S. this week,” wrote Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney of New York, highlighting the SEVER Act she reintroduced with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “to ban terrorists like [Raisi] from entering the U.S.”

“It’s a simple concept: The Butcher of Tehran should not be allowed to step foot on U.S. soil. Yet the Biden Administration plans to welcome him with open arms,” she wrote in another post. “We must immediately ban President Raisi from attending the UNGA!”

“This is a complete outrage,” wrote Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz. “Raisi is a monster who has called for the murder of President Trump and other US officials.” 

“He is sanctioned and banned from the US. Biden is letting him in anyway to propagandize,” he added.

Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence had previously accused the Biden administration of threatening to “unravel all the progress” the Trump administration made in marginalizing the Iranian regime. 

He also blasted the Biden team’s concessions to the “tyrants” in Tehran, its “virtual abandonment of our ally Israel,” and the “disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan,” which have emboldened the “adversaries of freedom” that now sense “weakness” in the American administration.

The current administration has long been accused of emboldening Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism worldwide, and its terror proxies, by seeking to revive the failed Obama-era nuclear deal, easing sanctions, and providing the Islamic Republic with financial resources to support terrorism and regional aggression. 

Additionally, weak responses to attacks by Iranian-backed militias and policy shifts in the Middle East have been viewed as “appeasing” the theocratic regime.

More recently, the Biden administration allowed sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile to expire in October, a mere six months before a ballistic missile attack on Israel last month.

Joshua Klein is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jklein@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


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