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Congress approves bill to ban Iran ambassador from US

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that will prohibit the man chosen by Iran to be its ambassador to the United Nations from entering the United States.

By voice vote, lawmakers endorsed the measure and sent it to President Obama for his signature. The bill would deny entry to the United States to Hamid Aboutalebi, who officials say engaged in espionage, terrorism, or a threat to national security.

American officials objected to Abutalebi's selection of because of his reported participation in a Muslim student group that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days in the 1979, during the Iran Hostage Crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

The Obama administration has told Iran the choice is unacceptable, but White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to say Thursday whether the president will sign the bill.