News that President Donald Trump is about to introduce a visa ban on Iranian nationals wanting to travel to the United States has been met by considerable composure in Tehran. The major outlets all devoted some coverage of the planned ban, which is said to be temporary and included Iran and six other Muslim-majority countries, but there was little sign of alarm.
One outlet, Fars News, published an interview by a senior Iranian diplomat, Hamid-Reza Asefi, who labeled the visa ban plan a form of “modern hostage-taking.” “It appears that Mr. Trump is still in campaigning mode,” the former Iranian ambassador the United Arab Emirates said. Asefi suggested that “perhaps with time Trump’s approach will become more logical and correct.”
However, he also sought to exploit the planned ban as way of painting the United States to be not only against the regime in Tehran but against the people of Iran as well. “This act [visa ban] shows that the enmity of American politicians is against the people of Iran and all the talk of distinguishing between the government and people of Iran amounts to nothing.” Calling the proposal akin to “hostage-taking” as it will prevent Iranian-Americans from travelling to Iran, he did also at the same time express hope that in the next few weeks the Trump administration will face international realities that will limit his ability to instigate measure such as the visa ban.