Iran seeks to fingerprint all US visitors

TEHRAN, Oct 3, 2006 (AFP) – Iran’s conservative-controlled parliament is to debate a bill that would make digital fingerprinting compulsory for all US citizens seeking to enter the country, lawmakers said on Tuesday. According to the bill, which is expected to be voted on in the next days, “all US citizens should be controlled and subjected to digital fingerprinting when they enter Iran,” said lawmaker Kazem Jalali in a debate broadcast on state radio.

“This law comes in response to the American practice of taking digital fingerprints of sportsmen, political officials and other Iranians, sometimes with an insulting attitude,” he added.

Until now, only US journalists have been subjected to digital fingerprinting on arrival in Tehran.

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran have been frozen since Washington broke off ties in 1980 in the wake of the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979. According to Jalali, the bill is also a reaction to the law voted on Saturday by the US Congress for sanctions against foreign countries which assist in Iran’s nuclear programme and supply sophisticated missile technology.