Former NATO Secretary General was not allowed in the US

European Union former policy chief and former NATO secretary-general Javier Solana seen during the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting entitled 'Ukraine and the World Addressing Tomorrow’s Challenges Together', organized by the Yalta European Strategy

Javier Solana, the former secretary-general of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, was refused a visa to enter the United States because he visited Iran. "It's a bit of a mean decision", he said regarding the United States' decision to deny him the ESTA. He added that he will apply for a USA visa. But an electronic authorization system rejected a U.S. visa for Solana because of recent trips he'd taken to the Islamic republic, which is among seven countries blacklisted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

He also believes that the reason for the refusal lies in the fact that he had previously visited Iran at the invitation of President Hassan Rouhani. "I don't think it's good because some people have to visit these complicated countries to keep negotiations alive".

Solana, who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal during his time as the EU's foreign policy chief, had been due to speak at an event at Washington's Brookings Institution, but learned he would not be able to enter the United States after trying to apply for an electronic visa waiver. "I don't think it's good, because some people have to visit these hard countries to keep negotiations going", Solana told the Spanish TV station Antena 3.

The system prohibits Estas for any citizen of 38 countries who visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen before 1 March 2011.

The visa rules date from the Obama administration, and are unconnected to President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, which targets Iran and five other Muslim-majority countries.

Current US President Donald Trump, however, chose to withdraw from the deal in May 2018.

Solana hopes to have the situation resolved as quickly as possible as he has professional commitments to honour in the USA that include doing work for global organisations and serving as a professor at various universities.

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