News ID: 264832
Published: 0249 GMT January 25, 2020

Tehran decries US ‘harassment’ of Iranians at Canada border

Tehran decries US ‘harassment’ of Iranians at Canada border

Iran condemned as “unconstitutional and inhuman”, treatment of travelers of Iranian origin by US border guards, saying Washington should be held to account for ‘the harassment.’

The reaction by Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi on Saturday came after Canadian news agency CBC revealed that US border officers had been instructed to target and interrogate Iranian-born travelers, according to Press TV.

The revelation follows reports that up to 200 people of Iranian descent traveling from Canada were detained and questioned for hours at multiple Canada-US border crossings during the weekend of Jan. 4 in the wake of the US assassination of a top Iranian military commander.

“Such highly discriminatory practices against people, purely because of their race, nationality, or religion, are wholly rejected in terms of international human rights laws and practices, and the US government is responsible for them,” Mousavi said.

“Given that these people have been questioned by US border guards and security forces about their political views and faiths and their internet accounts broken into, this is a case of inquisition and gross human rights violation.”

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confiscated their passports and held some of them waiting for as long as 10 hours, refusing to grant them entry to the US.

The Iranians were repeatedly asked about their birthplaces, family members, schooling, and work histories and whether they accepted of the US assassination of Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

CBP had denied it was detaining Iranians and blocking them from entering the country based on their heritage, but US border officers have told CBC News that they in fact were instructed to target and interrogate Iranian-born travelers.

Mousavi said, “These actions against Iranians are in line with the US regime's hostile and spiteful policy towards Iran and Iran's identity and existence.”

“At one time,” he said, the actions “appear in the form of a decision to ban Iranians from entering the United States. At another, they emerge in the threat to attack Iranian cultural and civilization centers.”

Following the US assassination of Lt. Gen. Soleimani, President Donald Trump said the US had identified 52 Iranian sites, some "at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture", and warned they would be "HIT VERY FAST AND HARD" if Tehran struck at the US.

Mousavi said the “cowardly assassination of the mythological hero in the fight against terrorism” was in line with the same hostility and spite which the United States bears against the Iranians.

More recently, this hostility “has appeared in the form of the harassment of Iranians at American borders”, he added.



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