Nationals of Iran and Iraq planning to fly to the United States were on Saturday prevented from boarding in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s order to restrict arrivals from seven Muslim countries.
On Friday, Trump had signed an order to suspend visas to citizens of 7 Islamic countries for 3 months.
The directive was also meant to impose stringent controls on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen – a move that sparked widespread criticism and concern across the world.
According to New York Times, travellers from the Middle East were stopped from boarding US-bound planes and some already in the air when Trump signed the executive order were detained on arrival.
In Tehran, two travel agencies told AFP they had been instructed by Etihad Airways, Emirates and Turkish Airlines not to sell US tickets or allow Iranians holding American visas to board US-bound flights.
Meanwhile, in retaliation, Iran has said it will ban Americans from entering its country.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran… has decided to respond in kind after the insulting decision of the United States concerning Iranian nationals”, the ministry said in a statement carried by state television.
The Iran’s foreign ministry described the decision as “illegal, illogical and contrary to international rules”.