| GEO World|
| Senators press to deny Ahmadinejad entry to U.S.|
| Updated at: 0737 PST, Saturday, May 01, 2010|
WASHINGTON: A group of Republican senators wrote Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday, urging them to deny Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entry into the U.S. next week.
14 Senate Republicans wrote Clinton to ask that the controversial Iranian leader be prevented from attending a United Nations conference on nuclear nonproliferation next week in New York City.
The senators, led by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), condemned the Obama administration's likely decision to permit Ahmadinejad to attend the conference, as he and other world leaders have previously been permitted to do.
"This is preposterous, and allowing it to happen will make a mockery of the effort to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue states and terrorist groups," the senators said. "There is simply no compelling reason for Ahmadinejad to be allowed to enter the United States."
The Republicans outlined U.S. classifications of the Iranian government and statutory history to ask Clinton to deny a visa to the leader.
President Barack Obama has sought sanctions against Iran in Congress and through the UN Security Council in an attempt to halt Iran's nuclear energy program, which is seen as a step toward the possible construction of nuclear weapons.
The letter was signed by Cornyn, as well as Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), David Vitter (R-La.), John Ensign (R-Nev.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), George LeMieux (R-Fla.), and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).