Former Norway prime minister held at US airport for an hour over Iran visa

The former prime minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik expressed his disappointment with the United States immigration policy after being held for an hour at the Washington DC’s Dulles Airport last week. Bondevik, who served two terms as Norway’s prime minister, was reportedly questioned at the Washington airport by immigration officers after finding an Iranian visa stamped on his diplomatic passport. Apparently, Bondevik was in Iran back in 2014 for a speaking engagement as part of his role as president of The Oslo Centre; a human rights organization. “When they found the Iranian visa, where I was in December 2014, they said that there was a regulation that with such a visa I had to be flagged up,” the former European Union (EU) told CNN. 



Bondevik, also a Lutheran minister, traveled to the United States last January 31 to attend the National Prayer Breakfast where President Donald Trump was one of the speakers. At the airport, he was pulled aside by federal agents and questioned over his Iran visits. “I was asked why I had stamps from Iran and what was the purpose of my visit to the United States,” Bondevik said. After an hour, he was finally allowed entry but the embarrassing experience has left him with very little faith now in Trump’s immigration policy. “There is no reason to be afraid of a former head of government who has been on official visits several times to this country, including in the White House,” the visibly disappointed former Norwegian leader told a local television. Bondevik said he is not only concerned about Trump’s ban on citizens of seven Islamic nations including Iran, but also disliked Trump’s treatment of other international leaders. “I also must say that I dislike very much his approach to other international leaders — the Prime Minister of Australia, the President of Mexico … and how he is acting in the international community,” Bondevik added.
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