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India issues travel restrictions to Iran, Israel amid rising tensions

01:46 AM Apr 13, 2024 IST | SURINDER SINGH OBEROI
india issues travel restrictions to iran  israel amid rising tensions
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New Delhi, Apr 12: Responding to the escalating tensions between Israel, the United States, and Iran, India has implemented travel restrictions for its citizens planning to visit Iran and Israel. The move comes amidst concerns over potential attacks by Iran and retaliation from Israeli troops.

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In a press release, Randhir Jaswal, Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, stated, “In view of the prevailing situation in the region, all Indians are advised not to travel to Iran or Israel until further notice.” Jaswal further added, “All those currently residing in Iran or Israel are requested to contact Indian Embassies there and register themselves. They are also urged to exercise utmost caution for their safety and limit their movements to the minimum.”

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Earlier, several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, had imposed travel restrictions for their employees in Israel amidst rising tensions.

Iran has vowed retaliation following an Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria, resulting in casualties. The United States and Israel remain on high alert amid fears of further aggression from Iran or its proxies, intensifying tensions exacerbated by the conflict in Gaza.

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In response to the heightened tensions, the United States has also issued travel restrictions for its employees in Israel, citing concerns over potential attacks by Iran. The US embassy announced that staff are prohibited from travelling outside the greater Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or Be’er Sheva areas “out of an abundance of caution” following recent escalations.

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US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller declined to disclose specific assessments when questioned about the travel restrictions but emphasised the ongoing monitoring of the threat environment in the Middle East or West Asia, particularly in Israel.

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The UK Foreign Office has updated its travel advice, acknowledging the potential for attacks from Iran on Israeli territory and the risk of broader escalation. UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has urged restraint in a call with his Iranian counterpart, emphasising the importance of avoiding further escalation amid diplomatic efforts to ease tensions.

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As concerns persist, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has cautioned that any direct attack by Iran on Israeli soil would prompt a swift response. The top US general for the Middle East has visited Israel to assess the situation, underscoring the gravity of potential Iranian retaliation in the aftermath of the embassy strike in Syria.

The situation remains fluid as diplomatic efforts continue to deter further escalation in the region.

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