Iran Foreign Minister: Visas no longer issued to Americans

Mohammad Javad Zarif
FILE PHOTO - In this Tuesday, July 28, 2015, file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks with media in a joint press conference with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Tehran, Iran. Iran's foreign minister says an imminent report by the U.N. nuclear agency later Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, will bring a 'good day' for Iran because it will lead to lifting sanctions. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File )

CAIRO (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump, his travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries and other immigration actions (all times local):

2:35 p.m. – Iran’s foreign minister has reiterated that Iran will no longer issue visas for Americans, describing the decision as a “counter-action” to Trump’s executive order banning nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from entering the United States.

Mohammad Javad Zarif added that “if there is an exception, it will be reviewed through the mechanism which has been created in the Foreign Ministry.” Zarif spoke to the “Khorasan daily” on Tuesday on the sidelines of a joint press conference with his visiting French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault. About 5 million tourists visit Iran each year, most of them coming from Iraq and other neighboring countries. Europeans have also been coming to Iran, but Americans represent far less than 1 percent of the total – or about 50,000 – and are subjected to rigorous background checks. Zarif first announced the reciprocal move by Tehran on Saturday, when Trump’s visa restrictions took effect. At the time, he said Iran’s ban will not be retroactive and that all Americans with already valid Iranian visas “will be gladly welcomed.”

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10:35 a.m. – Iran’s oil minister says there is no ban on American companies working in Iran’s oil industry.

The semi-official ILNA news agency on Tuesday is quoting Bijan Zanganeh as saying: “American companies face no ban for entering our oil industry.”

However, Zanganeh said American companies “have not directly applied” to work in Iran’s oil industry, so far.

This is the first such remark by Iran after an executive order by U.S. president Donald Trump on Friday banned immigration and visa processing for Iranians alongside six other Muslim countries.

In January, Iran’s Oil Ministry published a list of 29 international companies qualified to bid for oil and gas projects following the lifting of sanctions under a landmark nuclear accord that went into effect last year.

 

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