US revises visa policy in gesture to Iranians

May 21, 2011 02:35

WASHINGTON - Some Iranian students may seek two-year, multiple-entry US visas, the US State Department said on Friday, giving them greater freedom to travel to the United States in a gesture to improve people-to-people ties.

The step is the latest in a series by US President Barack Obama's administration to reach out to the Iranian people and, in particular, to young Iranians despite the long enmity between the two countries.

Students from Iran, which the United States accuses of seeking nuclear weapons, sponsoring terrorism and brutally repressing its people, previously were eligible only for three-month, single-entry visas.

The new guidelines apply to Iranians and their dependents applying to study in "nonsensitive, nontechnical fields" -- those that would not contribute to Iran's nuclear, missile or other weapons-related activities, a US official said.

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