By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Senior Iranian and Venezuelan government officials and their families will no longer be able to enter the U.S., according to a series of proclamations President Donald Trump signed into effect Wednesday.
The actions are the latest penalties imposed on Tehran and Caracas by the Trump administration as it seeks to mount diplomatic and economic pressure on the governments.
The orders do have exemptions for U.S. obligations under international agreements which would appear to allow officials representing the countries to travel to UN headquarters in New York City to fulfill their duties in the world body.
Trump originally said he signed the proclamations while speaking during his final press conference at the UN General Assembly, and the White House disseminated copies shortly after it concluded.
The ban on Venezuelan government officials pertains to all individuals holding the rank of vice minister and higher as well as officers in the Venezuelan military, police or National Guard at the rank of colonel or higher and members of Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly.
It also pertains to individuals "who derive significant financial benefit from transactions or business dealings" and "other aliens who act on behalf of or in support of the Maduro regime's efforts to undermine or injure Venezuela's democratic institutions," giving apparent leeway on enforcement.
But the order pertaining to Iran is vaguer, pertaining to simply "senior officials of the Government of Iran."
Neither order applies to individuals who are U.S. citizens and also occupy any of those roles.