Speaking in an exclusive interview with CNN, Speaker of Iran’s Parliament Ali Larijani argued that Trump’s travel ban is unlikely to work, because terrorists “seldom to never” enter a country under their own names or nationalities.
“President Trump and American officials are aware of this. The terrorists must be defeated at the source. Where are their sources? Where are they? They are in Afghanistan, in Syria, in Iraq,” he said.
He also lashed out at the Trump administration for putting Iran in the list of countries whose nationals cannot obtain the US visa, saying the Islamic Republic has led the fight against terrorism in the Middle East.
“Had we not assisted them, Baghdad would have been occupied by ISIS. It is with the help of Iran that ISIS is on its last breath in Iraq (and Syria),” Larijani said.
Larijani said “numerous Iranians” live in the United States, and called on the American administration to provide proof that any of them has been involved in terrorism.
“I have spoken about this before, so many Iranians live in the United States, study in the United States, engage in business in the United States, which one of them have engaged in terrorism?” he asked.
In addition to Trump’s travel ban, Larijani also criticized the ongoing boycott of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies until a series of demands, including cutting ties with Iran, are met.
Larijani questioned whether Saudi Arabia had the right to “dictate” conditions to another independent nation.
“Is it logical, is it mature for one country to dictate to another and say you must do as I say? Well you must cease relations, for example, with Iran?” he said. “I do not believe that … the Saudis carry this sort of weight to say these sort of things.”
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt sparked a rift with Qatar on June 5, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and destabilising the region.