US Ban on Muslims a Gift to Terrorists

Mohammad Javad ZarifMohammad Javad Zarif

Iran's top diplomat said the US decision to restrict arrivals from the Islamic Republic shows Washington's baseless claims of only having issues with the government in Tehran, stressing that the move is the greatest gift to terrorists and their supporters.    

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the statements early on Sunday via a series of posts on his official Twitter account.

In a move that sparked widespread censure, US President Donald Trump signed a sweeping executive order on Friday to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

"Collective discrimination aids terrorist recruitment by deepening fault lines exploited by extremist demagogues to swell their ranks," Zarif was quoted as saying by Press TV.

Zarif noted that Iran will be taking suitable reciprocal actions to protect its citizens, while respecting US citizens and differentiating between them and Washington's hostile policies. 

"Unlike the US, our decision is not retroactive. All with valid Iranian visas will be gladly welcomed," he said. He said the international community requires more dialogue and cooperation to cut the roots of violence and extremism in a comprehensive manner. Earlier in the day, Iran's Foreign Ministry slammed the recent decision as "insulting", vowing that Tehran would respond to the move in kind. Meanwhile, Iraqi lawmakers have called on the parliament to open a discussion over the travel ban imposed by Trump on their country.

"We want officials from the Iraqi Foreign Affairs Ministry to come to parliament to explain the US decision and discuss the matter," said a member of the parliament's foreign affairs committee, Rinas Jano.

Yemen has also denounced the travel ban, stressing that the country itself was a victim of terror attacks.

"We are dismayed by the decision to unilaterally ban, even for only a month, travel to the United States for people holding Yemeni passports," said an official on condition of anonymity.

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