Larijani: US Travel Ban on Muslims Won't Curb Terror

Larijani: US Travel Ban on  Muslims Won't Curb Terror Larijani: US Travel Ban on  Muslims Won't Curb Terror

Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani expressed disbelief at the US administration's travel ban for citizens from six countries, including Iran, saying his country has led the fight against terrorism in the Middle East.

"At the time when Iraq was being overrun by Daesh, did the US make the slightest move in defense of it? Or was it the Iranian nation that rendered aid to the Iraqi nation and Iraq government?" Ali Larijani told CNN in an exclusive interview, using acronyms to refer to the self-styled Islamic State terror group.

"Had we not assisted them, Baghdad would have been occupied by ISIS. It is with the help of Iran that Daesh, ISIS, is on its last breath in Iraq [and Syria]," Larijani said.

The new US policy will ban all arrivals from Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia for 90 days, if the new arrivals have no relationship with a person or entity in the United States.

A "watered-down" version of US President Donald Trump's travel ban took effect on Thursday after a ruling by the US Supreme Court.

Larijani said "numerous Iranians" live in the United States and called on the American administration to provide proof that any of them has been involved in terrorism.

"I have spoken about this before; so many Iranians live in the US, study in the US, engage in business in the US, which one of them have engaged in terrorism?" he asked.

The Majlis speaker argued the ban was unlikely to work, because terrorists "seldom to never" enter a country under their own names or nationalities.

"President Trump and American officials are aware of this. The terrorists must be defeated at the source. Where are their sources? Where are they? They are in Afghanistan, in Syria, in Iraq," he said.

***Illogical Demands

Larijani also criticized the ongoing boycott of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies until a series of demands, including cutting ties with Iran, are met.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt sparked a rift with Qatar on June 5, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region.

Among the conditions of the embargo were that Qatar must shut down the Aljazeera news network, halt the development of a Turkish military base in the country, cut ties to extremist organizations and reduce relations with Iran.

Larijani questioned whether Saudi Arabia had the right to "dictate" conditions to another independent nation.

"Is it logical, is it mature for one country to dictate to another and say you must do as I say? Well you must cease relations, for example, with Iran?" he said. "I do not believe that ... the Saudis carry this sort of weight to say these sorts of things."


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