Published January 31, 2017
An Icelander hoping to compete for his country in an international taekwondo tournament in the United States was denied entry due to being born in Iran – one of seven countries US President Donald Trump has denied entry by executive order. The Minister of Foreign Affairs told reporters he is taking the matter “very seriously” and will do everything in his power to rectify the situation.
Meisam Rafiei, who was born in Iran but holds both Iranian and Icelandic citizenship, was yesterday denied entry to the United States on account of his birth country. This is despite his being not only an Icelandic citizen but also using an Icelandic passport.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, told RÚV that they will not be taking the matter lying down.
“This is in keeping with what we were worried might happen,” he told reporters. “It’s one of many reasons why we have taken issue with and objected to this executive order. We will do everything we can to help our people, and get our voice clearly across to American authorities.”
Part of the actions the Icelandic government intends to take is to communicate with the US embassy here in Iceland. However, the matter is complicated by the fact that the previously ambassador, Robert Barber, left the country shortly after Trump took power, and a replacement has as yet not been appointed.
As reported, numerous officials within the Icelandic government have condemned the Trump administration’s new policies.