Iran calls US new visa restriction guidelines a violation of July’s nuclear agreement
Dec 23, 2015 07:00 AM EST
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill requiring visitors who came from countries labeled as high-risk to obtain a visa first before traveling to the country. But for Iran, which is covered by the visa restrictions, the new ruling violates the nuclear deal it signed with the United Nations in July of this year, The Washington Examiner reported.
As stated in the new restrictions, tourists, even those who came from relatively peaceful nations such as Australia and South Korea, will not be allowed to enter the U.S. without a visa if they visited Sudan, Iraq, Syria or Iran within the last five years. As explained by the House of Representatives, this ruling aims to tighten the national security of the U.S. by preventing potential terrorists from entering the country.
Abbas Araghchi, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister, criticized the new restrictions and said this go against the nuclear deal between their country and the U.S. As part of the agreement, Iran will limit its operations in its nuclear program in exchange for lifting the sanctions imposed by the United Nations on the country. But, if the U.S. carries on with the visa guidelines, Araghchi said that Iran will request the removal of certain sanctions.
"This law certainly affects economic, tourist, scientific and cultural exchanges with Iran and it contravenes the nuclear deal," Araghchi told the ISNA news agency according to Newsmax. "If this law is applied, we will put forward a request to the Joint Commission, because the law goes against the nuclear accord."
As pointed out by the New York Times, it is not clear how Iran was included in the visa restriction's list of high-risk countries. Like other countries, it is also engaged in an ongoing battle against members of the extremist group Islamic State.
In addition, another factor that puzzled and angered Iranians regarding the issue is the fact that Saudi Arabia was not included in the list. As noted by the news site, two of the suspects in the San Bernardino shooting in California earlier this month are linked to Saudi Arabia. Likewise, more than half of those involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks that resulted in the deaths of almost 3,000 people came from this country.