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Iranian MPS debate bill to fingerprint US nationals entering Iran

Tehran, Nov 6, IRNA-Majlis, in an open session on Monday, began hearing arguments for and against a bill seeking to fingerprint US nationals entering Iran. However, the debate on the bill was cut short for lack of time and was to be continued later this month.

The debate on the bill is to be continued on November 20 as agreed in today's session.

Amir-Reza Khadem, an MP from Tehran, speaking in the session said the bill ran counter to Islamic beliefs.

"Our problem is not with the American citizens but with the policies of the US government," argued the MP.

He said the bill would "violate the constitution as it would impose a financial burden."

Another MP, Mohammad Yari from the northern city of Talesh in Gilan province, also spoke against the bill, saying fingerprinting of US nationals "is against national interests."

"If the bill becomes a law, we would discourage US Muslims, athletes, intellectuals or other Americans from coming to the country who are against the warmongering policies of the US Administration," said the MP.

He argued that Tehran should not reciprocate the "inhuman" policies of US officials.

If these officials (US) resort to the lowest level of behavior to show their hostility to Iran, Tehran should rest in the knowledge that world public opinion is not following US policies as "everyday we witness demonstrations by American citizens expressing their anger at the warmongering policies of the Bush administration," argued the MP.

The bill seeking to fingerprint US nationals entering Iran was first approved on single urgency at a Majlis session on October 3. It was overwhelmingly considered for consideration by Majlis' National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.

Majlis began a debate on the bill Monday morning a bit delayed because of opposition from six representatives, who had earlier approved the bill but now wanted to strike out their signatures and defeat its passage.

Later, however, the MPs -- Mohammad-Hassan Abutorabi-Fard, Qasem Azizi, Mousa Qorbani, Mohsen Koh-kan, Hamid-Reza Hajji Babaei and Ahmad Pishbin -- backtracked and said they stuck to their signatures.

One MP, Vali Maleki from Meshkin Shahr in the northwestern province of Ardebil, arguing in favor of the bill, said "a tooth for a tooth," that is, the US move of requiring inhuman fingerprinting of Iranian nationals requires a similar response unless the requirement is reversed.

Iranians, Maleki stressed, respect American citizens, but "we must retaliate against their (US officials') insulting move." "The bill, if it becomes a law, will be more effective than any missile," he added.

... Payvand News - 11/6/06 ... --

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