Trump travel ban ‘great gift to extremists’: Iran FM

Mohammad Javad Zarif

Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that US President Donald Trump’s decision to ban arrivals from seven Muslim majority countries was “a great gift to extremists”.

“#MuslimBan will be recorded in history as a great gift to extremists and their supporters,” Zarif said as part of a string of tweets.

“Collective discrimination aids terrorist recruitment by deepening fault-lines exploited by extremist demagogues to swell their ranks.”

Trump on Friday signed a sweeping executive order to suspend refugee arrivals and bar visas for travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Iran’s foreign ministry had earlier released a statement saying it would reciprocate with a ban on Americans entering the country.

But Zarif added that its restrictions would not apply to Americans who already have a valid visa.

“Unlike the US, our decision is not retroactive. All with valid Iranian visa will be gladly welcomed,” he wrote.

With more than one million Iranians living in the United States, the travel restrictions are expected to cause chaos for students, businessmen and families travelling between the two countries.

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani said the measures were proof of America’s “violent racist spirit”.

The foreign ministry released a travel advisory, calling on all citizens travelling to the US to “make completely sure” before leaving that they will not face obstacles.

Travel agents in Tehran said Saturday they had been instructed by foreign airlines, including Emirates, Etihad and Turkish Airlines, not to sell US tickets and that Iranians holding American visas were not being allowed to board US-bound flights.

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  • Lemmuel Odjay

    Why not you rein in on those terror groups by asking them to dismantle their programme of terror for a change? Trump’s way will be the way the world would follow, no thanks to the prevalence of terrorist groups and your sponsorship of them. It is on record that your country Iran is foremost in sponsoring terrorism across the globe, so let’s begin from you withdrawing your patronage of their ungodly activities…

    • Arowolo

      Yes u are right! The west is beginning to awake. What Muslims will not tolerate they want others to fool it. Can I be free to a Christian in Iran?

      • sarah

        But as Christians are we not promised persecution ? Jesus Christ himself promised us persecution, all the disciples suffered persecution. Aren’t we as Christians called to love one another, and to put others first ? Why do we pick and choose what aspects of our faith to exercise? We cannot say we are Christians if we have hate in our hearts and if we choose to treat people how they treat us.

        • Arowolo

          Persecution is personal faith issue. National Security is serious government business.

          • sarah

            I agree entirely, then the argument shouldn’t be “Can I be free to be a Christian in Iran”.

  • ade

    Trump, being an American has the right to do whatever he feels will protect himself, and his fellow countrymen from senseless acts of extremism.

    • sarah

      “This right of protecting himself” is only counter productive, this will not only breed more fanaticism but it is unfair to decent people who aren’t extremist. This is mot only an ignorant approach from an incompetent and ill informed leader it is sheer hatred. If terrorist want to get into the US, they will get into the US, the countries that he banned are actually countries where non of its citizens have enacted terrorism on the US. This is NOT a solution. This is like putting plaster on on the body of someone with AIDS.