Iran to US: ‘Not the time to build walls’

A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him speaking at a conference in the capital Tehran, on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 28 January 2017
0

Iran to US: ‘Not the time to build walls’

TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized his US counterpart Donald Trump on Saturday, saying now was “not the time to build walls between nations.”
“They have forgotten that the Berlin Wall collapsed many years ago. Even if there are walls between nations, they must be removed,” Rouhani said at a tourism convention in Tehran.
His remarks came after Trump ordered construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border and imposed tough new controls on travelers from seven Muslim countries, among them Iran.
Rouhani did not comment directly on the visa ban, but said Iran had “opened its doors” to foreign tourists since the signing of a nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015.
With more than a million Iranians living in the United States, many families are deeply concerned about the implications of Trump’s visa ban, which also affects citizens from Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
On Thursday, one of Iran’s most popular actresses said she would boycott next month’s Academy Awards in protest at the ban.
“Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017,” tweeted Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in the Oscar-nominated “The Salesman.”
No visas will be issued for migrants or visitors from the seven countries for at least 90 days, a restriction which can be extended if the countries in question do not provide extensive information on individuals seeking to enter the US.
Quizzed on the street, many Iranians said they were baffled by the move.
“Americans themselves are mostly immigrants. To pick out a few countries and call them terrorist is not logical,” said Mohsen Najari, a 33-year-old resident of the Iranian capital.
Tehran and Washington have not had diplomatic ties since students stormed the US Embassy in 1980 following an Islamic upsurge that toppled the US-backed shah.
“It’s got nothing to do with terrorism. Iran and the US just don’t have good ties. The US has good relations with Saudi Arabia so it doesn’t matter how many terrorists come from Saudi Arabia,” said Sima, a 27-year-old.


US terror survey blames Iran for 'fomenting violence' in Middle East

Updated 19 September 2018
0

US terror survey blames Iran for 'fomenting violence' in Middle East

  • The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism
  • The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened

WASHINGTON: The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, accusing it of intensifying numerous conflicts and trying to undermine governments throughout the Middle East.
The State Department's annual survey of global terrorism released on Wednesday said Iran and its proxies are responsible for fomenting violence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened from the war in Syria and with valuable battlefield experience they seek to leverage elsewhere.

"Iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Lebanon," he said.
All three -- Daesh, Al-Qaeda and Iran -- "have both the capability and intent to strike the United States and our allies," State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales said.
The report indicated a general increase in global cooperation to fight terrorism, including tracking and blocking financial flows to the groups.
But this remains a challenge, Sales noted.
"You have got to stop the flow of money to these organizations."
"You have got to stop terrorist travel" as well, he added, pointing to the spread of airport detection systems like biometric face identification as a potent tool.
In addition, the survey reported a 24 percent decrease in attacks around the world between 2016 and 2017. That was due mainly to a sharp decline in the number of attacks in Iraq, where the Daesh group has been largely displaced.