The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump’s controversial ban on travellers from five mostly Muslim countries, in a major victory for the Republican leader after a tortuous legal battle.
In a majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court ruled 5-4 that the most recent version of the ban, which the administration claims is justified by national security concerns, was valid.
“In short, the language... is clear, and the Proclamation does not exceed any textual limit on the President’s authority,” Mr. Roberts wrote. “The government has set forth a sufficient national security justification to survive a rational basis review. We express no view on the soundness of the policy.”
The version of the ban at issue was the third iteration, and applies to travellers from North Korea and five mainly Muslim nations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — or about 150 million people.
“SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!” a jubilant Mr. Trump tweeted after the ruling.
Nikki Haley is travelling to India for the first time as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN.
During her two-day visit, the diplomat will meet senior Indian officials, business leaders and students, underscoring America’s “strong alliance” with the country.
Talks between Ms. Haley, the highest-ranking Indian-American in the Donald Trump administration, and Indian officials are likely to include India-U.S. strategic ties and significant global developments.
Ms. Haley will travel to New Delhi from June 26-28 where her interactions will “underscore the United States’ shared values and strong alliance with the people of India,” a brief media advisory from the U.S. Mission to the UN said here on Monday.
The visit comes just days before U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis will host External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman in Washington for the inaugural U.S.-India 2+2 Dialogue on July 6.
Calling Iran a “threat” to the world, U.S. envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said she had raised concerns over trade with Tehran at her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.
“President [Donald] Trump has said we need to hold Iran to account,” she said at an interaction hosted by the think-tank ORF in the capital, adding that Tehran’s violations of its nuclear commitments and alleged sponsorship of terrorism made it the “next North Korea.” “We are going to keep the pressure on [Iran] and we hope all other countries will join us… I did talk with Prime Minister Modi about this as well…the U.S. is going to work with our friends and allies to ensure that we are all pushing Iran to be an accountable neighbour.”
In an interview to NDTV, Ms. Haley also called on India to “rethink its relationship with Iran.” “I think as a friend [of the U.S.] India should decide whether [Iran] is a country they want to continue doing business with,” she said adding that her conversation with Mr. Modi had been a “constructive” one.
The comments by Ms. Haley appear to be a part of a concerted campaign by the U.S. to ensure that India, Iran’s second biggest oil-importer after China, cuts its oil trade.
This will prove especially tricky since New Delhi had committed to raising its imports from Tehran by as much 25% after a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in February this year.
The U.S. strictures follow President Trump’s decision in May to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) multilateral nuclear deal and subsequently bring in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) law that sanctions countries dealing with the Washington’s “adversaries”.
On Wednesday, a senior U.S. State Department official clarified that India must comply with the U.S. sanctions against Iran and bring oil imports to “zero” by its November 4 deadline.
“We have seen the statement made by the State Department official,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “The statement was not India-specific and applies to all countries.”