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Text: Sec. Kerry Letter to Zarif Regarding Visa Waiver Reform

NIAC has obtained a copy of the original english language version of the letter Secretary of State John Kerry sent to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif listing three instruments that the U.S. Government can use to ensure that the new Visa Waiver Reform law does not violate the JCPOA. While these are welcome steps from NIAC’s perspective, it remains unclear how these steps will ensure that dual citizens are not discriminated against solely on the basis of their nationality.

December 19, 2015

His Excellency Mohammad Javad Zarif

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Tehran

Dear Mr. Minister:

Thanks for a constructive meeting yesterday. I wanted to get back to you in response to your inquiry about amendments to our Visa Waiver Program. First, I want to confirm to you that we remain fully committed to the sanctions lifting provided for under the JCPOA. We will adhere to the full measure of our commitments, per the agreement. Our team is working hard to be prepared and as soon as we reach implementation day we will lift appropriate sanctions.

I am also confident that the recent changes in visa requirements passed in Congress, which the Administration has the authority to waive, will not in any way prevent us from meeting our JCPOA commitments, and that we will implement them so as not to interfere with legitimate business interests of Iran. To this end, we have a number of potential tools available to us, including multiple entry ten-year business visas, programs for expediting business visas, and the waiver authority provided under the new legislation. I am happy to discuss this further and provide any additional clarification.

Secretary of State John Kerry

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