Congress has passed new regulations tightening security requirements for the nation’s visa program that currently lets citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. without visas. New rules added to the recently-signed spending bill require people from those countries who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan in the past five years to obtain visas in order to enter the United States.
That prompted the Iranian regime to complain that the rules somehow violate Obama’s nuclear deal.
Secretary of State John Kerry responded in a letter sent on December 19 suggesting the regime could simply bypass the rule for Iran. After all, it’s only a law passed by Congress and Iran’s demands are clearly more important than U.S. national security, according to the current administration.
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Fox News added:
Kerry’s letter to Zarif assured that the U.S. would “adhere to the full measure of our commitments.” As for changes to the visa program, Kerry floated several alternative options for easing any impact on Iran – including waiving the new requirements.
“To this end, we have a number of potential tools available to us, including multiple entry ten-year business visas, programs for expediting business visas, and the waiver authority provided under the new legislation,” he wrote.
The legislation indeed includes a provision allowing the Homeland Security secretary to waive the requirements if the secretary determines this “is in the law enforcement or national security interests of the United States.”
That didn’t sit too well with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif.
“Instead of bending over backwards to try to placate the Iranian regime, the White House needs to be holding it accountable for its recent missile tests, its continued support for terrorism, and its wrongful imprisonment of Americans,” he said.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also weighed in.
“Contrary to what the Secretary of State seems to be saying to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, it was not and has never been Congress’s intent to allow the Administration to grant a blanket waiver to travellers from Iran in order to facilitate the implementation of the Iran deal,” he said. “Instead of undermining Congressional intent regarding the visa waiver program, the White House should instead focus on Iran’s repeated violations of the U.N. Security Council’s bans on missile tests.”
The State Department, Fox added, “confirmed the document’s authenticity on Monday.”
What say you? Is the Obama administration giving aid and comfort to Iran while putting American lives in danger? Let us know in the comments below.
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