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Embattled Santorum blasts Bush over visa for Ex-Iranian President

Published: Wednesday August 30, 2006

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Embattled conservative Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) blasted the Bush Administration today for allowing a former Iranian president to visit the United States, RAW STORY has learned.

"I am outraged," Santorum said of the administration's approval of Mohammad Khatami's request for visa. "Mohammed Khatami is one of the chief propagandists of the Islamic Fascist regime... I believe that granting a visa to Khatami so that he can travel around the United States and mislead the American people is a mistake."

Ironically, Santorum's chief complaint about Khatami's plans to speak in America is the former president's record on free speech.

"During his presidency," Santorum elaborated, "the suppression of free speech was so great that the organization 'Reporters Without Frontiers' branded Iran 'the greatest predator of free press in the Middle East.' When Iranian students demonstrated against the regime in 1999, Khatami's government arrested thousands of people, some of whom remain in prison to this day."

The Senator is proposing a trade-off with the government of Iran: "The U.S. government should insist, at a minimum," he concluded, "that authoritative Americans be given equivalent opportunities to speak to the Iranian people."