Obama admin blocks visa waiver reform to avoid upsetting Iran

Obama admin blocks visa waiver reform to avoid upsetting Iran

Recent congressional efforts to tighten gaps in the U.S. visa waiver program were blocked by the Obama administration out of fear the counter-terror effort would upset Iran, which opposes the reform to the visa process, according to a letter sent by a delegation of leading senators to Secretary of State John Kerry.

Congress approved late last year a measure to tighten restrictions on those entering the United States via the visa waiver program, which facilitates travel between America and many European countries.

The law prohibits travel to the United States for any foreign individual who has since 2011 visited Iraq, Iran, or any other country designated as a state sponsor of terrorism. The Obama administration threatened to waive the provision after Iran publicly opposed the measure and warned that it violates the nuclear agreement with Iran.

In a December letter to top Iranian leaders, Kerry promised the administration would veto the measure and work to uphold the nuclear agreement.

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