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Iran summons Swiss ambassador over US ban on Muslims entry

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows the Iranian Foreign Ministry's building in the capital, Tehran.

Iran has summoned the Swiss Ambassador to Tehran, Giulio Haas, to protest against the US president's discriminatory decision to restrict entry into the country from the Islamic Republic and six other Muslim states, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says.

In a meeting on Sunday, director general for the Americas at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Mohammad Keshavarz-Zadeh, handed over an official letter of protest to the Swiss envoy, who represents the US interests in Tehran, Bahram Qassemi said

The Iranian diplomat told the Swiss envoy that the executive order by US President Donald Trump has been issued under "fictitious, discriminatory and unacceptable" pretexts and runs counter to human rights conventions and a legal and consular treaty signed between Tehran and Washington in August 15, 1955, Qassemi added.

The spokesperson said Keshavarz-Zadeh had stressed the importance of protecting the Iranian citizens’ rights and said Iranians have been a victim of US-backed terrorist groups for decades and have not been involved in any operation by extremist and terrorist groups.

A young girl joins hundreds of people opposed to President Donald Trump's executive order barring entry to the U.S. by Muslims from certain countries as they demonstrate at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. (Photo by AP)

The Swiss ambassador was also told that Iranians have always been law-abiding citizens wherever they have settled, Qassemi emphasized.

Haas, for his turn, said he was aware of reactions to Trump’s recent order in Iran and added that he would promptly communicate the Islamic Republic's protest to the US State Department.

In a move which sparked widespread censure, the new US president signed a sweeping executive order on Friday to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

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In a series of posts on his official Twitter account, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Trump’s decision shows the baselessness of the Washington’s claims of only having issues with the government in Tehran, adding that the move is the greatest gift to terrorists and their supporters. 

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Iran’s Foreign Ministry also on Saturday censured the recent “insulting” decision made by the new US government and vowed that Tehran would respond to the move in kind.

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