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Thursday Jan 23 2020

US restricts Iranians from entering on investment, trade visa

'Iranians are no longer eligible for such visas,' the immigration service said and those already in the country must leave once their authorized stay expires. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday barred Iranians from visiting the country on investment and trade visas due to the ongoing tensions with Iran in the Middle East.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services attributed the change to the termination in October 2018 of a treaty of amity with Iran, which is the target of US sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs.

The E-1 and E-2 non-immigrant visas allow citizens of other countries to be admitted into the US to engage in international trade or to invest a large sum of capital.

Read more: Trump administration to impose US travel ban on 'couple of countries'

Iranians are no longer eligible for such visas, the service said. Those already in the country with these visas must leave once their authorised stay expires, it said. It was not clear how many Iranians will be affected.

The little-known agreement was signed long before Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution that turned the two countries into archenemies.

President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran. The US killing this month of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and an exchange of military strikes has raised tensions to a new level.