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False Rumor: State Department “Denying Visas” to Israeli Scientists

An Internet rumor suggests that the U.S. State Department has been clamping down on granting visas to scientists at Israel’s nuclear power plant in Dimona. 

Both U.S. and Israeli officials have categorically denied this report.

The rumor is based on a story which appeared in the Israeli daily newspaper Ma’ariv, of which various translations have been making the Internet rounds.

Speaking at the daily press briefing on April 9, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley made the following statement on the issue:

QUESTION: There’s a report in an Israel newspaper that says that the U.S. is denying visas to Israeli nuclear scientists who want to come to the States. Can you say anything about that?

MR. CROWLEY: Without commenting on individual visa determinations which are governed by the Privacy Act, we continue to issue visas to Israeli scientists, including nuclear scientists, on a regular basis. We’ve actually improved processing times for visas for scientific exchanges with Israel. So there’s been – it has been suggested there’s been a policy change. There has not been a policy change. And we continue to support exchanges with the Israeli scientific and academic communities.

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