Trump’s travel ban deals heavy blow to many Iranians

Trump's travel ban deals heavy blow to many Iranians
People protest Donald Trump's travel ban from Muslim majority countries at the International terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

The recent travel ban imposed by U. S. President Donald Trump and new sanctions have dealt a heavy blow to many Iranians and caused widespread anger among people in this Middle East country.

According to reports, Iranians are the largest group most affected by the ban. As an estimated 1 million Iranian-Americans are currently living in the United States and many Iranian families have relatives or friends working there, Trump’s travel ban has made family reunions of these families impossible. They have no idea when they can rejoin their families in the United States.

Meanwhile, Iranian academics are also stranded by the travel ban.

Ansiyeh Salehi, 30, a PhD candidate in the department of international politics of University of Tehran, is one of them.

She said the travel ban has dealt a major blow to her life.

In the past two years, she has been preparing for doctoral studies in the United States, but Trump’s executive order shattered her dreams and denied her study visa.

“Before that I have done a lot of plans. I even gave up other opportunities in Iran, just to prepare for studying in the United States because I have been thinking about studying in the U.S. and eventually getting a doctoral degree. I also intended to continue with a post-doctoral position and stay and work in the U.S. But now all my plans and dreams have been shattered,” said Ansiyeh Salehi.

So now she has to bite the bullet to apply for a doctoral program in Europe.

“Two years ago I wanted to apply to U.S. universities. At that time, the nuclear talks were going on, and after difficult negotiations, a nuclear deal was finally concluded. I never thought one day we would face such a problem. Particularly, the exchange and student visas are meant for ordinary people,” she said.

Some say the ban labels the Iranian people as terrorists, the U.S. government will not end its hostility towards Iran.

“Iranians have never been terrorists. Iran has only been defending its own interests. Everyone knows which countries and forces support terrorists. Some countries call us terrorists because we fight against their hegemony. Those hegemonic powers want other countries to bow to them, but our people refuse to surrender. For us, it makes no difference whether Obama, Bush or Trump is in power. It is a consistent U.S. policy to remain hostile towards us, ” said Amir, an Iranian engineer.

The executive order, which was signed by President Trump on Jan. 27, calls for the suspension of entry into the United States for 90 days for people from Sudan as well as Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also calls for the suspension of the country’s refugee program for 120 days.

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