French Senate to Oppose New US Visa Law

French Senate to Oppose New US Visa Law
French Senate to Oppose New US Visa Law

The French Senate would take serious action against the recent American Congress bill limiting visa-free travel to the US.

In a meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday, President of French Senate Gerard Larcher added that French senators will adopt an independent stance toward the bill, IRNA reported.

In response to the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, the US House of representatives passed a bill tightening security requirements for visa applications by citizens of 38 visa waiver countries, mainly European, which requires those who have visited Syria, Iraq, Iran or Sudan in the past five years to obtain a visa to travel to the United States.

The move was strongly criticized by Iranian officials who described it as a breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal reached between Iran and world major powers last July is formally called.

Larcher also said the French Senate unanimously supports a fundamental change in Tehran-Paris relations.

The top senator described the upcoming trip of President Hassan Rouhani to France scheduled for late January  as "very important", saying it would have profound effect in boosting mutual cooperation and solving problems in the world.

Zarif described the US Congress bill as "discriminatory", saying it conveys the message that those who really support terrorists are safe to continue their work.

The top diplomat said the bill undermines Europe's autonomy too, calling on the EU to exert its will toward these discriminating policies.

Zarif said the removal of nuclear sanctions will allow the two countries to expand ties, taking strides to develop cooperation in energy, technology, transportation, environment and other fields.

He pointed to the atrocities committed by extremists in the Middle East and other parts of the world, describing them as a common threat facing Iran, France and the whole world.

On regional problems, especially in Syria and Yemen, the minister said the only possible solution is political, which can be easily achieved when foreign countries respect the will of nations.

"All countries should adopt a common approach, only try to help the nations to solve problems and not make decisions on behalf of them," he said.

Zarif hoped that Rouhani's visit to France would help open a new chapter in political and economic cooperation, in addition to improving the prospect of settling regional crises.

Larcher, who arrived in Tehran on Saturday on a four-day visit, also met Rouhani, Chairman of Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior foreign policy adviser to the Leader.