Iran has declared it will ban United States citizens from entering the country in response to President Trump’s announcement that he will ban immigrants and refugees from seven middle eastern countries.
According to CNN, Trump’s executive order, which was signed Friday, banned over 134 million people from entering the United States. Trump specifically targeted emigres of Muslim majority countries, such as Iran, citing national security as the reason for his executive order.
An Iranian Foreign Ministry statement, issued Saturday via state run media, said, “The US decision to restrict travel for Muslims to the US, even if for a temporary period of three months, is an obvious insult to the Islamic world and in particular to the great nation of Iran.”
The statement continued, “Despite the claims of combating terrorism and keeping American people safe, it will be recorded in history as a big gift to extremists and their supporters.”
Iran’s ban on U.S. citizens will be in effect for as long as Trump’s executive order lasts. Trump’s stance on “radical Islamic terrorism” has often been criticized as a radicalizing factor for people who may be susceptible to terrorist organizations such as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).
In addition to Iran, Trump has banned people originating from seven countries including, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. These middle eastern countries were targeted by Trump’s executive order because of a 2016 law that identified these places as “countries of concern” for immigration to the United States.
Trump framed the ban from Iran, and several countries, in an effort to prevent terrorists from entering the United States. However, entering the United States as a refugee is an extremely rigorous process that can take up to two years. Although the process is already very stringent, Trump has lauded the idea of “extreme vetting” for people originating from Muslim majority countries to prevent a “Trojan horse” for terrorists to enter the country.
The executive order has a 90 day expiration, but Trump has also barred Syrian refugees from entering the United States for the next four months. The Trump team has not elaborated on their plans after the 90 day ban for middle eastern countries, but the executive order leaves room to expand the ban to more countries for a longer period of time.
Trump’s ban on Syrian refugees has also raised red flags for radicalization considering the world is in the middle of a human rights crisis originating from the middle east. PBS reported that over five million refugees have escaped Syria since conflict in the country erupted in 2011. Millions more have been displaced and killed. Despite these numbers, Trump halved the number of refugees admitted in the United States, restricting the number from 110,000 during former President Barack Obama’s term, to just 55,000.
Iran and the six other countries aren’t the only places Trump has alienated this week. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto cancelled his scheduled meeting with Trump in the United States after the president kept insisting that Mexico would pay for a wall along the southern border of the country.
Trump has made varying statements about his planned border wall. On the campaign trail, Trump said Mexico would definitely pay for the wall, but now Trump has said that taxpayers will fund the wall, but Mexico will reimburse the United States. According to Washington Post, Trump has stated he will try to support this plan by implementing tariffs on imported goods from Mexico.
Before Iran announced their retaliation against Trump’s executive action, scientists in charge of the “Doomsday Clock,” a clock face that demonstrates how close humans are to destruction represented by the midnight hour, adjusted the clock hands. Atomic scientists reset the “Doomsday Clock” to the closest time to midnight in 64 years. The shift occurred after Trump’s inauguration and the increased threat nuclear weapons and worldwide tension.
[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]