German charge d’affaires summoned by Iran over “fingerprint” plans
Iran warned Friday of reprisals after summoning German charge d'affaires Klaus Geyer over Berlin's reported plans to tighten up entry visa checks for 22 countries, including Iran, state radio reported Monday.
"Following the German government's decision to limit Iranian nationals wishing to enter that country, the German charge d'affaires to Tehran, in the absence of the ambassador, was summoned to the foreign ministry and informed of the Islamic republic's opposition," state radio said.
"Initial talks with German officials on the imposition of limitations on Iranian nationals have taken place and the German embassy's charge d'affaires, during the summons, affirmed that no final decision had yet been taken on this issue," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi was quoted as saying.
"The Islamic republic of Iran will not refrain from taking common measures against German nationals in order to guard its interests and those of its nationals," Asefi warned.
The summons of the German diplomat comes one week after Asefi announced that Tehran was looking into possible German plans to fingerprint Iranian citizens in the framework of a new visa process.
"Iran's foreign ministry is examining this issue and will not fail to take any necessary measures to protect the country's honor and interests," Asefi was quoted as saying.
Two weeks ago, Germany's Der Spiegel weekly reported that Berlin would tighten up entry visa checks on citizens of 22 countries, including Iran, Egypt, North Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
It added that the countries are named in a secret list drawn up by the interior and foreign ministries, which has not been confirmed by the authorities in Berlin.
According to the new procedures, intelligence services will question visa applicants in the German embassy of the country where they make their application, Der Spiegel said.
It said Germany is considering taking fingerprints from citizens of the 22 countries as part of the visa process.
The new requirements are covered by an anti-terrorist bill passed after the September 11 attacks. (Albawaba.com)
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