Friday, 19 January, 2018

Iran summons Swiss envoy over Trump visa ban

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Iran summoned Switzerland’s ambassador, who represents Washington’s interests in Tehran, to protest President Donald Trump’s visa ban on Iranians, the foreign ministry said.

Swiss ambassador Giulio Haas was “handed a letter of protest on the recent executive order by the US President and the imposed limitations and discriminatory behaviour against Iranian citizens travelling to America,” said spokesman Bahram Ghasemi.

A senior diplomat told the ambassador that Trump’s order was “baseless, discriminatory and unacceptable“.

Ghasemi said Iranian citizens have been victimised by “US—backed terror groups” for decades, and been law—abiding citizens wherever they have settled.

Haas said he would communicate the protest promptly to the US State Department.

Tehran and Washington have not had direct diplomatic relations since Iranian students stormed the US embassy in 1980 and held staff hostage for 444 days.

With more than one million Iranians living in the US, Trump’s visa ban —— which covers seven Muslim countries —— has caused has chaos for students, businessmen and families.

In a statement on the Foreign Ministry website, the government of Iran has vowed unspecified retaliatory measures and emphasized that the international community “needs dialogue and cooperation to address the roots of violence and extremism in a comprehensive and inclusive manner.”

The statement promised proportionate legal, consular and political consequences, but it didn’t say what those would be.

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