Iran's Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has sent a new list of government officials with dual nationality to the country’s Ministry of Intelligence – calling for a thorough investigation into their cases. In a TV interview on Thursday, Montazeri said the list includes 52 individuals who work in senior positions in the government and the private sector. He added that U.S. Green Card holders were among the 52 individuals. “Dual nationals can be dangerous individuals and we have warned the government in this regard so they screen these people,” he warned. He also mentioned that that two officials with permanent residence permit of a foreign country were recently allowed to advise Iran’s nuclear negotiating team, and others work in senior government positions as well. “Why should a dual citizen become an advisor to the head of an important institution where the country’s secret and classified documents are kept?”
Comment: The presence of dual nationals in key government and private sector positions has long been a matter of contention between the Iranian Judiciary and the Rouhani administration. During the nuclear negotiations between Tehran and world powers, hardliners raised the issue to exert pressure over the government. And recently, the Judiciary has been depicting Iranians with foreign citizenship or permanent residence permit as a security threat and potential infiltrators. On March 7, Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi said the government has been purged of dual nationals. “No dual national administrator now exists in the government. Some lists have been received, however, which belong to companies and they are being investigated,” he claimed. While those with permanent residence of foreign countries are not legally barred from serving in government, the Iranian parliament last November passed a legislation that obliges the government to investigate them.