US President Donald Trump has imposed a ban on travel to both countries and Iran on the grounds that the countries have used ballistic missiles to threaten the US and the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).
The new travel ban, which has been put into place in the wake of the attack in Paris that killed 130 people, applies to nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The US has imposed the travel ban on the same day the UN General Assembly voted to condemn the attacks in Paris, saying the countries should be banned for their human rights violations.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in France, and we will not be silent,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement on Tuesday, referring to the attacks.
The countries are not part of the UN Security Council, but the US is the only member.
The US says the bans are necessary to protect US allies in the region, which are not officially designated as targets of the US ban.
Haley said the travel bans would be “temporarily suspended until the US Congress fully develops its legislative solution to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the Middle East.”
The US ban, however, has faced fierce criticism from the countries of the region and their allies.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the ban would affect the Iranian people.
“Iran does not recognize the ban.
It is against the Iranian nation,” he said on Wednesday.
“The United States should immediately lift its unilateral unilateral sanctions,” Rouhani added.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi also criticized the US action, tweeting: “The US should not ban the people of Egypt from travelling to US, and the people should not travel to the US to visit.
The Egyptian people’s right to travel to their country is the right of every Egyptian.”
Jordan said the US travel ban would hurt the security of Jordan.
“We will continue to make every effort to facilitate the return of the people who have been stranded here and the international community will not stand idly by,” Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said in an interview with al-Jazeera.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia also denounced the US move.
“This will harm the security and stability of the Arab world, and will be a direct threat to the region’s stability,” the UAE Foreign Ministry said in response to the announcement.
Jordan has a large population of Arabs who are ethnically and religiously mixed, and has been a staunch supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation outlawed by the Saudi government.