Coronavirus: Riyadh condemns Iran for not stamping Saudi citizens’ passports

Passengers coming from China wearing masks to prevent a new coronavirus are checked by Saudi Health Ministry employees upon their arrival at King Khalid International Airport, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)

A Saudi Arabian official condemned on Thursday Iran for not stamping the passports of Saudi nationals entering Iranian territory, in light of Riyadh confirming in past few days the detection of coronavirus cases in five Saudi nationals who returned to the Kingdom from Iran through Bahrain and Kuwait without declaring to the relevant authorities being in Iran recently.

The official denounced Iran’s “irresponsible action” of granting Saudi citizens entry to its territories without stamping their passports, especially at a time where there is an outbreak of coronavirus in Iran, state news agency SPA reported.

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“These actions are proof of Iran’s direct responsibility in increasing coronavirus infections and in the outbreak of the virus all around the world,” the official added. “This behavior poses a serious public health threat to the international community and undermines international efforts to combat the coronavirus, putting many communities around the world at risk.”

The official urged all Saudi citizens who had visited and returned from Iran during the past weeks to immediately report this matter and to contact the ministry of health through the dedicated hotline so they can undergo the necessary safety procedures.

He also urged Saudi citizens who are currently in Iran to immediately report their travel to Iran upon their arrival in the Kingdom.

Iranian authorities have put the death toll from the coronavirus virus at 107 as of Thursday, making it one of the worst-hit countries after China.

“Citizens who voluntary report their travel to Iran during a window of 48 hours following this statement will not be subjected to the Travel Documents Law and its related regulations,” the official said.

The official reaffirmed that Saudi citizens should not travel to Iran for any reason, stressing that serious legal actions will be taken against those who commit this act going forward.

 

The Saudi official also called upon Iranian authorities to disclose the identities of the Saudi nationals who had illegally visited Iran since the 1st of February, holding the Iranian authorities fully responsible for all Saudis who did not report their travels and had gotten infected during their stay in Iran.

The official also said that the Iranian regime's continuous withholding of the identity of Saudi nationals who had secretly traveled to Iran and allowing them to do so illegally, threatens public health not only in the Kingdom but on international level as well.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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