President Trump announced the U.S. will bar Iranian government officials and their relatives from entering the U.S. The announcement came at same time that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in New York for the UN General Assembly,
“Given that this behavior threatens peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond, I have determined that it is in the interest of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or non-immigrants, of senior government officials of Iran, and their immediate family members,” Trump said in the proclamation.
See shocking list below of relatives of senior Iranian government officials who are currently studying or working in the US
A U.S. government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity explained:
“For years, the Iranian regime has attacked, criticized, and aggressively worked against the United States. Meanwhile, hypocritical regime leaders and their family members have been exploiting our freedom and prosperity.
“They come to America to go to our schools, seek jobs, enjoy our entertainment, and take in our culture.”
The official added that such “officials and their families don’t deserve the privilege and luxury of coming to the United States.”
There are currently many children and relatives of Iranian officials who reside in the U.S., having received visas to attend college, work and live in the U.S. This is despite the public hostilities of these individuals towards the U.S.
Some of the more famous relatives of Iranian government officials include:
- Fatima Ardeshir-Larijani, daughter of Ali Larijani who is head of the Iranian parliament and former official in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Fatima lives in Ohio and is studying internal medicine at the University Hospital of Cleveland (ranked as one of the U.S.’s leading health care centers).
- Ali Fereydoun, whose uncle is Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Ali Fereydoun is the chief engineer for an unnamed company in New York.
- Isa Hashimi, son of Masoumeh Ebtekar (a.k.a. Sister Mary) who is the vice president for women’s affairs in Iran and former spokesperson for the students who held 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage for 444 days after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Hashimi is a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Chicago.
- Ihsan Nobakht and Nilufer Nobakht, son and daughter of Ali Nobakht who is a member of the Iranian parliament (Ihsan and Nilufer’s uncle, Ali Nobakht, is the previous spokesman for the Iranian government). Ihsan is an assistant scholar at the George Washington University and Nilufer is studying at the same university.
- Seyed Hossein Mousavian is a visiting research scholar at Princeton University. Mousavian is an Iranian policymaker and scholar who served on Iran’s team during nuclear negotiations with the EU and International Atomic Energy Agency. He previously attended the California State University, Sacramento where he received a degree in engineering.
Although no longer residing in the U.S., Ali Akbar Salehi, current head of the Atomic Energy Association of Iran and former minister of foreign affairs, received a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977.
Similarly, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, previously lived in the U.S. Zarif obtained a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from San Francisco State University as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Denver.
Zarif’s son, Mahdi, studied at the City University of New York.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will have the authority to make the final decisions as to who will be allowed in and who will not. Last February, Pompeo said the administration was looking into the issue of family members of Iranian regime officials living in the U.S.
In a video published on the State Department’s Farsi Twitter account, Pompeo was asked by an Iranian, “Why isn’t the United States doing anything about the family members of the regime officials living in America?”
Pompeo responded at the time, “That’s a very good question. Think about what you just asked. You have the very people who are destroying the way of life for ordinary people all across Iran, sending their kids (abroad), because they’re very wealthy, because they have stolen from you, they have taken your money corruptly, in a way that has harmed good hardworking people of Iran.”
Pompeo also said, “This issue that they [Iranian government officials] send their family members abroad bothers us too.”
The new proclamation by the president will not apply to lawful U.S. permanent residents, those granted asylum or refugees already admitted to the United States.
This latest action is part of Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic, the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
In other news, Houthi leaders in Yemen said they covered for Iran by taking responsibility for the recent attack on the Saudi national oil company Aramco (which supplies five percent of the world’s oil supply), according to a report in The Wall Street Journal which quoted Saudi officials.
Houthi militants have warned foreign diplomats that Iran is preparing a follow-up strike.