State Department spokesman Alan Eyre said Friday on Voice of America’s Farsi language TV program Parazit, the United States is easing travel restrictions for Iranian students and will now issue multiple entry visas.
The State Department’s new Farsi language spokesman said, “I have the pleasure to tell you and the honorable Parazit viewers that from today, the American government will give more travel privileges to Iranians with student visas.”
Eyre told Parazit Host Kambiz Hosseini that the new rules “mean instead of a single-entry three-month visa, students can get a multiple-entry two-year visa.”
Iranians studying in the United States, until today, had been discouraged from visiting their families, in some cases for years, because of rules that required them to re-apply for a visa if they left the country for any reason and wanted to come back to complete their studies.
Eyre said the visa rules were being changed to make travel easier and further the U.S. “goal of promoting the free flow of information and ideas.” He said the decision was taken despite “the Iranian government’s increasing censorship and isolation of its own people.”
During the interview, Kambiz asked the State Department spokesman when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might come on his irreverent and often satirical program. Eyre promised that Mrs. Clinton would come on the show, but did not give a date.
Parazit, with its sometimes biting humor, has enjoyed growing popularity despite Iranian government efforts to block access to the program, which is broadcast from Washington by VOA’s Persian News Network.
Many viewers gain access to the show through social media sites like YouTube and the Parazit Facebook page, which has hundreds of thousands of loyal fans who download and share the program.
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