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Iran's Zarif Says U.S. Travel Ban 'Regrettable'

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin on June 27.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has condemned a U.S. Supreme Court decision to partially reinstate President Donald Trump's temporary ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries.

"It's regrettable that the citizens of the countries on the list have never participated in any act of terrorism against the U.S. and yet they are being punished for acts of terrorism by citizens of other countries which are not on the list," Zarif said in Berlin on June 27.

The travel ban "doesn't help, it doesn't increase anybody's security," Zarif said.

The United States accuses Iran of supporting terrorism. Tehran backs militant groups such as Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon's Shi'ite Hizballah militia, which have been designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department.

In what Trump declared a "clear victory for our national security," the Supreme Court on June 26 lifted lower-court decisions blocking the president's 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program and a 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

But it said the ban would not apply to visitors who have a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." The ban on refugees is also being allowed to take effect on a similar, limited basis.

The State Department says it will start enforcing the travel ban on the morning of June 29.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters