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Congressman Dan Donovan

Representing the 11th District of New York


Donovan Blasts Obama, Kerry for Appeasing Iran at Expense of American Security

December 30, 2015
Press Release
After Congress tightened travel restrictions, Kerry sent a letter to his Iranian counterpart ensuring U.S. would protect “legitimate business interests” of Iran

Staten Island, NY—December 30, 2015….Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) today voiced strong opposition to the Obama administration’s pledge to protect Iranian business interests by waiving Congressionally-mandated travel visa restrictions.

Congressman Donovan said, “Apparently, Iran’s ‘business interests’ come before American security and citizens. It’s yet another weak and wrongheaded step in the Obama administration’s long road of placating our enemies.”

At issue is a Donovan-supported measure passed into law as part of the year-end funding package. It requires travelers to obtain a visa before visiting the United States if they have also visited Iran, Iraq, Syria, or Sudan in the past five years. This includes citizens of the 38 countries which participate in a visa-waiver program with the United States. The goal is to make it more difficult for would-be terrorists to enter America.

Iran took issue with the security restrictions, arguing they came about as a result of the “Zionist lobby” and directly contradict the parameters of the nuclear deal agreed to earlier this year. In response, Secretary of State John Kerry penned a letter to his Iranian counterpart assuaging Iran’s concerns and promising to implement the law “so as not to interfere with legitimate business interests of Iran.”

Donovan continued, “Iran still holds American prisoners who were ignored as part of the nuclear negotiations, and Iran violated U.N. missile test restrictions just two months ago. Despite the regime’s flagrant disregard for American citizens and international norms, the Obama administration immediately submitted to Iran’s complaints.”

Several Americans have been held captive in Iran for years. Even after the nuclear deal, Iran convicted an American reporter on bogus espionage charges and arrested an American businessman. Earlier this month, United Nations experts announced that Iran violated an international resolution when it conducted a missile test in October.