The proposed law would ban visas for Iranians deemed to have committed “serious human rights violations” and their families.
Iranian officials and their families could be barred from entering the US for human rights reasons under a new bill proposed in Congress on Monday. The act targets many high-ranking Iranian officials, including those in the supreme leader’s office, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and law enforcement.
The Revocation of Entry Granted to Iran’s clerics and elites (REGIME) Act would require the Secretary of State to consider whether any Iranian officials could be reliably linked to “blatant violation of human rights” or “substantial corruption” has secured or applied for a US visa.
Those found to be in possession of such visas, along with their family members, will be revoked and any applications being processed will be spiked.
The bill comes after protests broke out in September over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s so-called ‘moral police’.
“In light of the regime’s actions, it is especially hard to believe that Iranian officials and their family members are being granted visas to come to the United States to enjoy freedoms their citizens can only imagine. .,” Representative Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) told al-Monitor, the newspaper that first reported on the bill.
Critics of the law, however, have questioned whether it is fair to punish the children of officials, while others point out that it is unknown how many Iranian officials and their children are even trying to enter the United States in the first place, according to al-Monitor.
The law uses the State Department’s Section 7031(c) sanctioning authority to blacklist Iranian targets. Those criteria require “reliable evidence“associating individuals with a serious human rights violation such as ordering murder or engaging in torture,” an unnamed official told al-Monitor.
A State Department spokesman said Washington has a policy of restricting entry to senior Iranians and their families, whose applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
The United States led the charge to remove Iran from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women earlier this month, citing alleged abuse of protesters. Tehran countered that its removal was “completely illegal” and accused Washington and its allies of trying to destabilize the country by inciting riots and instability under the guise of legitimate protests.
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