Zionist lobby behind US visa restrictions: Iran

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Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari says the recently devised visa restrictions in the US, which affect dual national Iranians and people who have visited Iran, were pushed through under the pressure of Zionist lobby groups.

During his weekly press briefing on Monday, Jaberi Ansari said the recently passed legislation in Washington was part of the Zionist campaign to prevent and later to undermine the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of world countries.

On Saturday, Washington passed a law affecting its Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which normally exempts nationals from 38 countries from having to obtain visas to visit the United States. As a result of the changes, the program no longer includes dual nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan as well as anyone else who has traveled to those countries in the past five years.

The US has sought to reassure Iran that the law will not come in the way of the implementation of America’s commitments under the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),  with the Islamic Republic.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry wrote a letter to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad  Zarif, saying the visa changes “will not in any way prevent us from meeting our JCPOA commitments.”

Pointing to Kerry’s letter, Jaberi Ansari said the US is obligated under a UN Security Council resolution to carry out its commitments outlined in the JCPOA, adding that Iran’s criteria for adherence to the deal is the US’ implementation of the agreement.

Asked whether Iran would remain committed to the nuclear deal following the legislation, Jaberi Ansari said that an Iranian committee charged with overseeing the implementation of the JCPOA will make the necessary decisions regarding Tehran’s commitment to the deal.

“We will make all our efforts in order for both sides to honor their commitments and prevent the violation of decisions and obligations,” he said.

The nuclear agreement was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, Britain, France, China, and Russia plus Germany – in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 14.

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