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Iran parliament passes US visitor fingerprinting bill despite Ahmadinejad

[JURIST] Iran's parliament [official website, in Persian] passed a bill Sunday instituting mandatory fingerprinting of all visiting US citizens. The predominantly conservative Majlis passed the bill by a margin of 135 to 26, and will next hand it to the Guardian Council [official website, in Persian] for review before it is written into law. The legislation won approval despite the efforts of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official profile; BBC profile], who spoke out against the bill [JURIST report] in October, emphasizing that Americans are welcome in Iran as Iran only opposes US policy, not US citizens.

The bill was proposed as a reaction to US regulations, implemented in 2002, requiring every Iranian to be fingerprinted upon arrival in the US. The Iranian proposal reads in part, "the government is obliged to fingerprint all American citizens, in order to reciprocate behavior of American officials towards Iranian citizens." Iranian Vice President for legal and parliamentary affairs Seyyed Ahmad Mousavi said Sunday that Iran's government is still opposed to the measure [IRNA report]. Reuters has more.

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