Tehran urges Riyadh not to politicize coronavirus outbreak

March 11, 2020 - 19:23

TEHRAN — Tehran has rejected Riyadh’s claim about the reason why the passports of Saudi nationals arriving in Iran are not stamped, urging Saudi Arabia not to politicize the coronavirus disease.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Tuesday, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already provided a description of the issue, and we are surprised that such quite simple subject has been once again mooted by Saudis,” the Foreign Ministry website reported.

Mousavi made the remarks in response to a question posed by Sputnik news agency’s reporter about Saudi Arabia’s claim that the passports of Saudi nationals are not stamped upon entry into Iran.

“We have already made it clear that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s regulations on issuing electronic visa are equal for the nationals of all countries except for the holders of British, American and Canadian passports, and attaching labels and issuing entry and exit stamps (in the passports) are avoided in conformity with the visa policy of many advanced countries,” he explained.

Mousavi underlined that such policy has nothing to do with the citizens of any particular country or with the coronavirus, and advised Saudi Arabia to refrain from politicizing the coronavirus disease and pinning the blame on others in this regard.

Saudi Arabia criticized Iran on Tuesday for facilitating the entry of Saudi citizens into its territories without stamping their passports amid the global outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The cabinet, chaired by King Salman, slammed Tehran for undermining international efforts to combat the virus and said that Iran was responsible for the spread of the virus, Arab News reported.

MH/PA

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