Iran Threatens To Retaliate Against Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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Iran is threatening to retaliate against President Donald Trump’s recent decision to bar citizens of certain predominantly-Muslim countries from the U.S.

Trump signed an executive order Friday temporarily prohibiting citizens from seven majority Muslim countries — Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen — from entering the U.S. The decision has drawn criticism from private citizens, organizations, and foreign governments. The Iranian foreign ministry decried the ban as “a blatant insult to Muslims, mainly the great Iranian nation.” Iran has declared it will respond in kind until the ban is lifted.

Trump’s executive order is being criticized as a “Muslim ban;” however, the ban only applies to certain countries, not all Muslim countries worldwide.

Iran’s citizens are barred from entering the U.S. for the next 90 days.

“Iran will implement the principle of reciprocity until the offensive U.S. limitations against Iranian nationals are lifted,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement, stressing that it would ban U.S. citizens from entering Iran.

“The move will be registered as a big gift by extremists and their supporters,” the foreign ministry explained.

“The uncalculated measure of the U.S. administration to discriminate civilians of Islamic countries will only deepen discords, while encouraging spread of violence and extremism,” the statement further explained. The Iranian foreign ministry added that it will “take appropriate legal, consular and diplomatic measures” in response to America’s actions.

In a speech broadcast on state television, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized the isolationist tendencies of certain states.

“Today is not the time to erect walls between nations,” he said, without naming Trump specifically.

If Iran follows through on its threats to retaliate against Trump’s ban, such actions would likely be an extension of existing strict Iranian policies restricting entry.

Iran does not permit holders of foreign passports or travel documents that indicate that the person has been to Israel or is affiliated with Israel to enter the country.

And, while it Americans are permitted to visit Iran, authorities routinely detain American travelers, as well as other foreigners, on questionable charges, typically interaction with political prisoners and espionage. Two noteworthy American detainees include former Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, as well as Amir Hekmati.

Hekmati, a former marine, has been incarcerated since 2011. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “aiding a hostile country,” the U.S. He claims he is innocent and was locked up as a result of longstanding tension between the U.S. and Iran.

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