US State Dept. Briefing, March 7, 2017 - During a press briefing at the US State Department, Mr. Mark Toner, the spokesman for that department responded to a question by a reporter who asked about the visa ban for the Iranians.
Mr. Toner said '. Frankly [speaking], what we’ve seen in the past months and year, and since they signing of the nuclear agreement, [Iran] continued its bad behavior in the region. this is a country that is a state sponsor of terror and plays a destabilizing role in the region. And so when you’re looking at a country like that, it’s not about the Iranian people, it’s not directed to them, but to the government. When you’re considering the safety and security of the American people in the United States, you have to hold them in a different class.'
Mr. Toner added that the government of Iran has shown it is capable of exporting terrorism and chaos around the region.
'Iran has shown itself capable of exporting terrorists and terrorism abroad. As I said, they’re a state sponsor of terror. What they’ve done in Syria, what they’ve done elsewhere in the region, frankly, puts them in a class by themselves with respect to what they’re capable of. This has nothing to do with those Iranians who may want to come and visit the United States to develop a better understanding of the United States or to visit relatives here.'
Trying to separate the Iranian people with the regime, Mr Toner added: 'what they have shown through their behavior is a consistent ability to create chaos, to sow chaos in the region, to create or to fund terrorists – terrorist activities in the region. And it’s because of that that that they’re in this category. What I’m trying to say is that it is the government, their government, that unfortunately is a bad actor in the region, and not the people.'