Washington, US President Donald Trump in a proclamation announced that senior Iranian and Venezuelan government officials are prohibited from entering the United States.
"Given the importance to the United States of fostering the functioning of constitutional government and democratic institutions in Venezuela, I have determined that it is in the interest of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of senior members of the regime of [Venezuelan President] Nicolas Maduro and others described in this proclamation who formulate, implement, or benefit from policies or actions that undermine or injure Venezuela's democratic institutions or impede the restoration of constitutional government to Venezuela," Trump said in a statement issued by the White House
In the first proclamation, Trump suspends the entry into the United States of Venezuelan government officials at the level of Vice Minister and higher, all officers of the country’s law enforcement, members of the National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela, as well as immediate family members.
According to the second proclamation, the US entry ban applies to senior officials from the Iranian government and their immediate relatives.
The United States is pressing for regime change in Venezuela with sanctions complementing diplomatic efforts to oust Maduro by recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as president.
The United States has ratcheted up sanctions on Iran since last year as part of its "maximum pressure" campaign, targeting the pillars of the Iranian economy. Last week the United States imposed another round of sanctions on Iran, including on the Central Bank, following recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities, which the United States holds Iran responsible for. Meanwhile, Iran has refuted these accusations.