GOP rep: Iran wouldn’t let me visit

GOP rep: Iran wouldn’t let me visit
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Three Republican lawmakers were blocked from visiting Iran to view the nation’s parliamentary elections Friday, which they are claiming is a sign that Tehran is afraid of outside monitoring.

“Perhaps they have too much to hide,” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner

Along with Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Pompeo had earlier this month asked to visit Iran, tour some of its nuclear sites, talk about military activities and meet with an American held captive.

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But three weeks after applying for a visa, the hawkish Republicans never heard back, Pompeo wrote.

“Despite political cartoons and front page stories in Iranian newspapers on our visa applications, the Iranian government still missed its own, self-imposed deadline for responding to us,” he wrote.

Millions headed to the polls in Iran on Friday, in the first election since Tehran signed a nuclear deal with international powers last year. The agreement lifted sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy, in exchange for new limits on its ability to build nuclear weapons.

Iranian voters were asked to choose new lawmakers in the country's parliament and a council of clerics that could be responsible for choosing the next supreme leader.

Pompeo has been a critic of the nuclear deal in particular and the Obama administration’s Iran policy more generally.

The president’s strategy “leaves our regional partners like Israel more vulnerable, and worse, it leaves the United States less safe,” he wrote.

“Our problems with Iran are not ending, they are just beginning,” Pompeo added. “Let us hope the next American president ends this horrible nuclear deal to help bring about real change.”