While saying he couldn’t talk specifically about the visa to visit the U.S. granted yesterday to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting next week, White House presidential press secretary Scott McClellan acknowledged there are unanswered questions surrounding the new leader.
In today’s White House press briefing, McClellan said Iran needs to answer questions about Ahmadinejad’s past. Iran is on the U.S. list of terror-sponsoring states, but the visa was granted nevertheless.
WND asked the spokesman: “A travel visa into the United States to attend U.N. meetings was extended to Iran’s president, who was identified by five former U.S. hostages as one of their captors and interrogators in ’79, and there’s the assassination of a Kurdish leader in Austria in 1989 as well as recruitment of suicide bombers. And my question: How does granting this visa fit in to the president’s promise to fight all terrorism?”
Said McClellan: “Well, this is for next week’s U.N. meeting. As you mentioned, and the State Department addressed this issue over the last couple of days – I think they talked about the visa that was issued. I can’t get into talking about particulars regarding the specific visa. But when it comes to the concerns that you bring up, there are still questions that have not been answered relating to his involvement during that time of the hostage taking – the taking of American hostages. And there are questions that still need to be answered. And it’s incumbent upon the government of Iran to answer those questions.”
In answering a question about whether or not President Bush still believes FEMA chief Mike Brown is doing a “heck of a job,” McClellan said the president was “appreciative” of all federal workers dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.