Saturday, 28 January 2017

‘Trump’s Visa Ban For Iranians Is Racist’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticised his
US counterpart Donald Trump on Saturday,
saying now was “not the time to build walls
between nations”.
“They have forgotten that the Berlin Wall
collapsed many years ago. Even if there are
walls between nations, they must be removed,”
Rouhani said at a tourism convention in
Tehran.
His remarks came after Trump ordered
construction of a wall along the US-Mexico
border and imposed tough new controls on
travellers from seven Muslim countries, among
them Iran.
Rouhani did not comment directly on the visa
ban, but said Iran had “opened its doors” to
foreign tourists since the signing of a nuclear
agreement with world powers in 2015.
With more than a million Iranians living in the
United States, many families are deeply
concerned about the implications of Trump’s
visa ban, which also affects citizens from Iraq,
Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
On Thursday, one of Iran’s most popular
actresses said she would boycott next month’s
Academy Awards in protest at the ban.
“Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist.
Whether this will include a cultural event or not,
I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017,”
tweeted Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in the
Oscar-nominated “The Salesman”.
No visas will be issued for migrants or visitors
from the seven countries for at least 90 days, a
restriction which can be extended if the
countries in question do not provide extensive
information on individuals seeking to enter the
United States.
Quizzed on the street, many Iranians said they
were baffled by the move.
“Americans themselves are mostly immigrants.
To pick out a few countries and call them
terrorist is not logical,” said Mohsen Najari, a
33-year-old resident of the Iranian capital.
Tehran and Washington have not had
diplomatic ties since students stormed the US
embassy in 1980 following an Islamic
revolution that toppled the US-backed shah.
“It’s got nothing to do with terrorism. Iran and
the US just don’t have good ties. The US has
good relations with Saudi Arabia so it doesn’t
matter how many terrorists come from Saudi
Arabia,” said Sima, a 27-year-old.