Diplomats from terrorist-supporting nations would not be able to venture more than one-half mile beyond the United Nations complex in New York City under a bill to be introduced by a U.S. congressman.
U.N. envoy to Haiti, Hedi Annabi, leaves a news conference at the U.N. headquarters in Port-au-Prince April 17, 2008. The United Nations is planning to take further action to confront food insecurity in Haiti with plans to distribute 8,000 more tons in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where rising prices have led to widespread protests, some of them violent, the U.N. said on their website. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (HAITI)
"One-half mile is more than enough space for lodging, food and other necessities, but it will be easier and more cost-effective for the intelligence community to monitor suspected individuals when necessary," explains Rep. Paul Broun, Georgia Republican.
The congressman says the United States is required under the 1947 United Nations Headquarters Act to allow diplomats into the country for official business, including foreigners who would otherwise be ineligible for U.S. visas.
"In keeping with our agreement, we are allowing large numbers of individuals from state sponsors of terrorism into our country, and to add insult to injury giving them diplomatic immunity," he says, noting that between 2002 and 2007 the State Department issued more than 6,600 visas to delegates and representatives from such nations.
Mr. Broun points to Iran, where there are no U.S. diplomats stationed, yet Iranian diplomats posted in the U.S. "enjoy access and diplomatic immunity," while in 2002, 2003 and 2004 "personnel from the Iranian Mission to the United Nations were caught photographing and videotaping the New York City subway and other popular landmarks."
Those guilty Iranians, by the way, were consequently expelled. Now, the congressman says if such intelligence gatherers can't be stopped from entering the United States, "the least we can do is limit their access."