Iranian citizens condemn EU countries for halting visa applications
EU embassies have begun suspending processing visa applications as well as the issuance of new Schengen visas without official notice
By News Desk - October 12 2022

(Photo Credit: Shutterstock Photo)

On 12 October, Iranian citizens condemned European embassies after visa applications for travelers were canceled following Tehran’s crackdown on nationwide protests.

Harmatullah Rafiei, chairman of the board of directors of the Iran Tour Operators Association, remarked that the EU embassies have begun suspending the processing of visa applications and the issuance of new Schengen visas without official notice.

Several experts assume this decision was made in order to avoid the possible spike in the immigration of Iranians.

Iran’s spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Kanaani, told reporters reports that if the decision turns out to be true, then this “restrictive measure is not acceptable.”

“Applying restrictions on the travel of Iranian citizens by European countries is contrary to what they declare. On one hand, they emphasize the issue of respecting the rights of Iranian citizens and on the other hand, they create restrictions for the travel of Iranian citizens,” Kanaani added.

However, countries such as Poland have affirmed to Tehran that they have no plans to suspend visa applications for Iranian travelers.

The managers of Iranian tour travel agencies confirmed visa appointments have been canceled since the start of the month, despite no official announcement from EU countries.

Last month, a week after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, protests against the morality police across several cities in Iran turned into violent clashes between anti-government demonstrators and security forces.

The US and Canada have placed stricter sanctions on factions of the Iranian government in light of Amini’s alleged murder, such as the Islamic Iranian Guard Corps (IRGC) and the morality police.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new set of sanctions on 7 October and said that “over 10,000 officers and senior members [IRGC] most responsible” would be targeted by his government.

Canada’s relationship with Iran started to deteriorate in 2020, when the IRGC shot down Flight PS752 by accident in the aftermath of the illegal US strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

In response, Canada led efforts to bring accountability to those involved, as many of the victims had direct connections to Canada.

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