Tehran Demands Exemption from New Law on Visa Entries to the U.S.

(Wall Street Journal) Editorial - The December budget law includes a measure revising the Visa Waiver Program. Expedited entry into the U.S. is no longer available to foreign travelers who have visited Iraq, Syria or countries that "repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism." Thus the law covers those who have visited Iran, a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism. In a Dec. 18 interview, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, "This visa-waver thing is absurd: Has anybody in the West been targeted by any Iranian national?" Well, yes. Hundreds of U.S. soldiers and Marines were killed in Iraq by roadside bombs supplied by Iran. Iran has supported Hamas and Hizbullah terrorists. There was an Iran-backed attempt in 2011 to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. in Washington. In a Dec. 22 letter to Secretary of State Kerry, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and four GOP committee chairmen note that Congress "expressly refused" carve-outs for Iranian businessman during the debate over the new visa rules. "The simplest way to eliminate this restriction," they wrote, "is for Iran to end its support of terrorism."

2016-01-05 00:00:00

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