Iran's parliament to debate bill on fingerprinting American visitors

Majority of lawmakers vote in favor of discussing bill which is in retaliation for the US fingerprinting Iranian travelers visiting the States.

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October 4, 2006 03:05
1 minute read.
Iran's parliament to debate bill on fingerprinting American visitors

iran finger print 88. (photo credit: )

Iran's conservative-dominated parliament voted Tuesday to debate a bill that would require the government to fingerprint all US citizens visiting Iran. The draft law would require all American citizens be fingerprinted when they enter Iran. The measure is in retaliation for the US fingerprinting Iranian travelers visiting the United States, a procedure implemented in 2002 for Iranians along with nationals of some other countries. A majority of lawmakers voted in favor of discussing the bill, but a date has not been set for its debate. The only Americans Iran currently fingerprints on arrival are journalists, but not all are subjected to the procedure. The decision is left to the discretion of customs officials. Discussion of the measure comes amid repeated demands from some Iranian journalists who resent the procedures imposed on them when entering the United States and say their American counterparts should face reciprocal treatment. Iran announced last week it was increasing restrictions on American media, justifying the move for what it said was a US decision denying Iranian journalists visas to attend the UN General Assembly. The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran by militant students. Relations thawed after Iranians in 1997 elected President Mohammad Khatami, who called for cultural exchanges between the countries. But U.S. President George W. Bush's declaration that Iran belonged to an "axis of evil" with prewar Iraq and North Korea renewed Tehran-Washington animosity. Relations deteriorated further after Iranians last year elected hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. Tehran's controversial nuclear activities have widened the gap between the countries. The US accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons but Iran has said its nuclear program was geared toward generating electricity.


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