More than 12,000 Iranian students will be affected as well academics and members of Iran’s middle class, who are usually critical of the clerical regime. Hassan Rouhani’s chances at re-election are also at risk.
Teheran (AsiaNews) – Several Iranian business and cultural observers warn that Donald Trump’s revised executive order on citizens of six majority Muslim countries will help Iran’s hard-liners, like the Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran) and the most conservative clerics.
Earlier this week, the US president modified his previous travel ban by excluding Iraq from his previous list. Nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are still subject to a suspension of visa issuance for at least 90 days.
The first to be affected will be Iranian students and researchers. Last year, more than 12,000 of them studied in the United States.
Many of them are already registered for this year in undergraduate or graduate programmes and have already paid for tuition fees and accommodation. Because of Trump’s order, they might lose a year of study and remain in limbo indefinitely.
Iranians who moved to the United States after the fall of the Shah and Khomeini's seizure of power and became naturalised citizens might not be able to contact their relatives and family in Iran.
The executive order will also alienate Iran’s middle class, which is generally perceived to be highly critical of the clerical regime.
It will equally humiliate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has taken conciliatory steps, and help the country’s conservative forces.
After signing the agreement on Tehran's nuclear programme, the United States continues to maintain an embargo on the use of the dollar in bank transactions with Iran.
This makes it hard for many countries to trade safely with Iran for fear of reprisals and fines from US authorities.
This ban is likely to cancel out any possible economic benefits derived from the nuclear agreement. Above all, it offers critical room to radicals against Rouhani for getting something "useless".
Already, chances for Rouhani’s re-election in May are slim. Hard-liners can still rely on the slogan that "the US is Iran's enemy."
Meanwhile, many Iranians are still stunned by Trump’s decision since it leaves out Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both of which provided most of 19 terrorists who carried out the attack on the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001.