Iran to complain to JCPOA commission if new US visa law takes effect: Araqchi

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – If the new law that tightens visa-free travel to the US comes into force, Iran will lodge a complaint to a joint commission, tasked with monitoring commitments to a July nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers, about breach of the JCPOA, an Iranian diplomat said.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday that a new bill that the US House of Representatives passed to tighten visa-free travel to the US and President Barack Obama signed into law “contravenes” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a lasting accord that Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) struck in July.

Araqchi argued that the new law will “definitely influence the economic, tourism, scientific and cultural interaction” between Iran and the other countries.

According to a bill, which was passed in the US House by 407 to 19 on December 8, visitors from the 38 “visa waiver” countries will need to obtain a visa to travel to the US if they have been to Syria, Iraq, Iran or Sudan in the past five years.

On Friday, US lawmakers sent Obama a huge tax and spending package, which also included reforms of the US visa waiver program. The president quickly signed it into law before leaving Washington for his annual holiday vacation.

Elsewhere in his comments, Araqchi said if that law comes into force, Iran will submit a request to the JCPOA joint commission to consider the violation of the nuclear deal.

He noted that the European countries also believe that the new US visa program violates the rights of European nationals.

The controversy comes a few weeks before implementation of the JCPOA.

The final nuclear deal, known as a big confidence-building step in relations between Iran and the West, is going to terminate all nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran after being implemented.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry sent a letter to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, giving an assurance that Washington will remain committed to the JCPOA and underlining that the US administration has “a number of potential tools available” to prevent the visa law from stifling the nuclear deal.

By Tasnim News Agency