FIRST ON FOX: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is calling on the Biden administration to deny a visa for the Iranian president to travel to attend the United Nations General Assembly next month — after it emerged that Iranian operatives had plotted to kill top U.S. officials.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is seeking a visa to attend the gathering of world leaders in New York next month. But after the Justice Department announced charges against an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) member for an alleged plot to kill former national security advisor John Bolton, Haley says that request must be denied.
“The world’s leading state sponsor of terror attempted to assassinate American officials inside our country,” Haley said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Under no circumstances should the Biden administration allow Raisi to set foot in our country.”
“He should not be allowed to stain American soil,” she added.
Shahram Poursafi is wanted by the FBI for the alleged plot to kill Bolton, which officials said was likely planned in retaliation for the January 2020 strike that killed IRGC Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani
“Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, through the Defendant, tried to hatch a brazen plot: assassinate a former U.S. official on U.S. soil in retaliation for U.S. actions,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia said Wednesday.
Poursafi allegedly used encrypted messaging apps to offer $300,000 to hire someone to murder Bolton, and alluded to a $1 million offer for a future “job.” Reports have since emerged that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, another top Iran hawk, was also a target.
“It is not just me,” Bolton said in an interview with Fox News Digital this week. “The regime in Tehran has targeted a lot of Americans.”
He added: “You could call it an act of war, and it tells you everything you need to know about the government in Tehran.”
Bolton had accused the Biden administration of having been “signaling weakness” towards the regime in Tehran.
Earlier this month, seven Republican senators called on President Biden to deny Raisi a visa, while also noting that the U.S. declined to grant visas to the Iranian U.N. ambassador in 2014 and to the Iranian foreign minister in 2020.
Haley has been a frequent critic of the Biden administration’s stance on Iran, particularly its moves to re-enter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — from which the Trump administration withdrew. Last month, she said that the pursuit of a renewed deal was “a slap in the face to Israel and our Arab allies, and dangerous for America.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.