Ex-Nato chief denied entry to US for visiting Iran

  • Spanish newspaper claimed Javier Solana was refused US visa by an electronic authorization system

TEHRAN – The United States has denied entry to the former secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and former Spanish foreign minister, Javier Solana, for his trip to Iran, a country put by President Donald Trump on his blacklist.

Solana, who was scheduled to give a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, was refused US visa by an electronic authorization system because of visiting the rival state, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.

According to the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), citizens of 38 countries can travel to the United States for tourism, business, or while in transit for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa.

However, if citizens of the VWP countries travel to one of the seven countries covered by new eligibility requirements (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen), they will have to apply for a new Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) permission before travelling to the US.

The seven countries are included in the blacklist of US President Donald Trump for the alleged financing of international terrorism.

El Pais quoted sources at the US embassy in Madrid as saying that ESTA automatically rejects the requests of people who have visited any of the seven countries affected by Trump’s travel ban order.

In conversation with the newspaper, Solana denied the incident and confirmed that he is in the process of obtaining a visa.

As head of EU diplomacy, Solana was one of the first impellers of the nuclear agreement with Iran , which has been rejected by the Trump Administration .

Last time, he travelled to Tehran in 2013 during a ceremony headed by Iranian President Hasan Rohani.

Trump Declares US Withdrawal From Iran Nuclear Deal

Already tense relations between Iran and the US further escalated in May when President Donald Trump announced that the United States is effectively withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, defying last-ditch diplomatic efforts by his European allies to convince him otherwise.

Trump declares US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal, reinstates sanctions (VIDEO)

In a highly-anticipated address, Trump said he would not renew the 120-day waiver on US sanctions on Iran as required by the 2015 deal, thereby allowing all US sanctions to snap back.

At the same time, he announced additional economic penalties against Tehran.

Trump’s decision fulfils a campaign promise to cancel the 2015 pact, which he has repeatedly described as “the worst deal ever”.

In 2015, Iran signed the deal – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – with six world powers: the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union.