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Iran Foreign Minister: Trump travel ban 'great gift to extremists'

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem

Iran's foreign ministry said on Saturday it will ban Americans from entering the country in response to President Donald Trump's "insulting" order restricting arrivals from Iran and six other mostly Muslim countries.

Iran's top diplomat said the U.S. decision to restrict arrivals from the Islamic Republic shows Washington's baseless claims of only having issues with the government in Tehran, stressing that the move is the greatest gift to terrorists and their supporters.

The United States should revoke "dangerous" new immigration measures, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Monday during a visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran.

The decree signed Friday by Trump bars U.S. entry to travellers from the seven countries for 90 days.

He however said that Iran would take reciprocal measures to protect its citizens while also taking into account that it is the USA policies that are hostile not Americans. "All with valid Iranian visa will be gladly welcomed", he said.

He added that the ban showed that USA claim of friendship with Iran was baseless.

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"Collective discrimination aids terrorist recruitment by deepening fault lines exploited by extremist demagogues to swell their ranks", Zarif was quoted as saying by Press TV.

Zarif called the decision of USA authorities "a great gift to extremists and their supporters". A White House statement said the two leaders agreed on the need to address "Iran's destabilising regional activities".

On Friday, Trump signed a sweeping executive order to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

"If policies like this become law and are enforced, then a lot of worldwide societies won't hold meetings in the U.S.", he said.

Iran says its missiles do not breach United Nations resolutions because they are for defence purposes and not created to carry nuclear warheads.

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