Thursday, February 9, 2017

Iran retaliates against Trump travel ban by banning Americans

Iran announces in a Foreign Ministry statement that it will ban all Americans from the country. The action is a quick response to Donald Trump's executive order which bans nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

Iran is one of the seven countries named. They include as well, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Sudan. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said:
"The US decision to restrict travel for Muslims to the U.S., even if for a temporary period of three months, is an obvious insult to the Islamic world and in particular to the great nation of Iran. Despite the claims of combating terrorism and keeping American people safe, it will be recorded in history as a big gift to extremists and their supporters."The Iranian ban would remain in place until Trump's order is lifted. The Trump executive order also stops all refugees from being admitted to the U.S. for four months.
Other countries may also introduce retaliatory measures. Iraqis are also very angry with the move. Several Americans of Iranian descent are jailed in Iran. The order may make it more difficult to achieve their release.
Two key Iranian figures will be unable to attend the upcoming Oscars in the U.S. Actress Taraneh Alidoosti who stars in the Iranian film "The Salesman" that has been nominated for the best foreign language film tweeted on Thursday: "Trump's visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won't attend the Academy Awards 2017 in protest." The director of the film Ashgar Farhadi will be unable to attend the Oscars held in February because of the ban.
The Iranian statement also described the order as "illegal, illogical, and contrary to international rules." The Ministry said it had ordered Iranian diplomats to help Iranians who were being prevented from returning to their homes and places of work or study in the U.S. Travel agents in the Iranian capital Tehran said that foreign airlines had begun to bar Iranians from US-bound flights. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also criticized Trump after Trump had also announced the building of a wall on the Mexcican border. Rouhani said that now was not the time to build walls against other nations: "They have forgotten that the Berlin Wall collapsed many years ago. Even if there are walls between nations, they must be removed." There are more than a million Iranians living in the United States many of whom will be negatively affected by the Trump ban.
Many Iranians were puzzled by Trump's move. Mohsen Najari a 33-year-old resident of Tehran the capital said: "Americans themselves are mostly immigrants. To pick out a few countries and call them terrorist is not logical." Sima a 27-year-old said: "It's got nothing to do with terrorism. Iran and the U.S. just don't have good ties. The US has good relations with Saudi Arabia so it doesn't matter how many terrorists come from Saudi Arabia." The National Iranian American Council also criticized the ban as shameful and discriminatory. The group said:"We will not be silent and will use every resource at our disposal to fight these shameful actions and protect the values and people who make America great. Even if this were the right approach, it is notable that the list doesn’t include Saudi Arabia and would have done nothing to prevent 9/11 or the other terrorist attacks committed by radical Wahhabi jihadists in the U.S. But it does include Iran – from which no national has committed a terrorist act in America."The Iranian move will have a disastrous effect on the efforts of American business entrepreneurs to start new businesses in Iran.


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