Hossein Jaber Ansari, the new spokesman of Iranian Foreign Ministry, in his first press conference after his designation to the post said Monday, “From the perspective of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the US congressional bill on Iranian nationals entering the US is contradictory on several fronts.
[As it currently stands, the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of 38 countries — namely European states, Australia, Japan and South Korea — to travel to the United States without having to obtain a visa. However, the US House of Representatives passed a bill (H. R. 158) on Dec. 8 that aims to exclude from this program all dual nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan, and anyone else who has traveled to those countries in the past five years.]
Jaber Ansari said, “The bill which is in contradiction to both international free trade and basic human rights principles has yet to run its course.”
The Foreign Ministry spokesman added, “This bill which amounts to collective punishment of the citizens of one or several countries is against the most fundamental principles of human rights.
“The bill is in conflict with the spirit of the nuclear deal. The legal dimensions of this issue are under study by the Foreign Ministry. If the bill is proven to have breached the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iranian Foreign Ministry will seriously follow the issue.”
Jaber Ansari then underlined, “Even if the legal aspects of the bill do not prove to be in contradiction to (JCPOA), the bill and the legal course it took in the US send a negative message to the Islamic Republic of Iran and its great nation.
“There have been vast oppositions to the bill both inside Iran and also by Iranian nationals abroad.
“We hope the bill is not approved, and if it happens, it would be another indication of the unilateral and contradictory policies of the US toward global issues.
Jaber Ansari added: “The US administration claims to want to take on terrorism; it comes as Iran and the nationals of the Islamic Republic of Iran have paid the dearest price in confronting terrorism in the region in recent years. In this bill the Iranian nationals have been targeted and this is another aspect of the contradictory US policies.”