Iran halts visas to Americans, Iraq decides not to retaliate for Trump’s order

by WorldTribune Staff, February 1, 2017

Iran on Jan. 31 said it would stop issuing visas to Americans in what it called a “reciprocal” and “proportionate” action after President Donald Trump’s executive order that included a 90-day ban on Iranian citizens entering the U.S.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed that Teheran would no longer issue visas to U.S. citizens in response to Trump’s executive order barring entry to the U.S. of nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran received 5.2 million foreign visitors in 2015, according to the United Nations. Only 4,559 were Americans.

Iran’s move came the same day that Iraq said it wouldn’t take any reciprocal action against Americans in light of Trump’s order.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Iran’s move could impact efforts by Boeing to complete the sale of 80 planes to Iran Air that the U.S. company said is still subject to government approvals. Some U.S. lawmakers are trying to block the deal, which was agreed on in December.

“We’re continuing to assess any impact the executive order might have and are closely monitoring congressional, administration and judicial actions,” a Boeing spokesman said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Jan. 31 said Baghdad would not retaliate against the U.S. travel ban, despite growing calls from Iraqi politicians to halt issuing visas to Americans.

Abadi said banning Americans would only hurt Iraq as it fights Islamic State (ISIS) — an operation backed by the U.S. military — and hinder the country’s effort to jump-start an economy weakened by years of conflict.

“Frankly speaking, I do consider this decision as an offense to Iraq and Iraqis,” Abadi said at a press conference in Baghdad. “Iraqis should be thanked for the sacrifices we make in fighting terrorism. I do not want to abuse the American people in the same way.”