President Obama on Friday signed a law allowing him to deny entry to the U.S. for Iran's ambassador to the United Nations — but even as he did so, Mr. Obama said he considers it "advisory" and not binding.
The president, who took office saying he would curtail use of signing statements to reinterpret laws, issued just such a statement on this latest law, which Congress hastily passed to target Hamid Aboutalebi, who the U.S. says was involved in the 1979 hostage crisis.
"Acts of espionage and terrorism against the United States and our allies are unquestionably problems of the utmost gravity, and I share the Congress's concern that individuals who have engaged in such activity may use the cover of diplomacy to gain access to our nation," Mr. Obama said.
But he said presidents also have a duty to defend their constitutional turf — in this case, the right to decide who is accepted as an ambassador.
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