Thursday, November 11, 2004

Daily Times - Iran to fingerprint visitors from US

Daily Times - Site Edition: "Iran to fingerprint visitors from US

TEHRAN: US travellers visiting Iran will have to be fingerprinted on entering the country under a bill approved on Tuesday by a parliamentary committee, state news agency IRNA reported.

The bill, which will now go before the full parliament, was given the green light only two days short of the 25th anniversary of the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran by radical students.

Kazem Jalali, chairman of parliament’s national security and foreign affairs committee, said the move is in response to a similar requirement by imposed by the US authorities from October 1, which also stipulates that Iranians entering the United States be photographed.

The bill approved on Tuesday would instruct the government to ensure that measures be introduced to “verify the identity of American arrivals and to bar entry to those who could represent a threat to national security.”

It said the law would cease to apply “when the American administration stops fingerprinting Iranians who enter its territory.”

Tehran and Washington broke off diplomatic relations in 1980 after the seizure of the embassy, in which 52 diplomats were held hostage for 444 days.

Even so, American scientists, journalists, tourists and others visit the country.

In December 2002, Iran began fingerprinting American journalists in reaction to “harmful treatment” imposed on many foreign travellers entering the United States. afp"

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