A BBC World Service journalist was held and interrogated on Sunday (29 January) at Chicago's O'Hare airport for over two hours after an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Ali Hamedani holds a UK passport but was originally born in Iran, although he has not been able to return to the country since 2009 due to his work there for the BBC. According to the BBC and an interview with 5 Live's Stephen Nolan, Hamedani was stopped while on his way to Los Angeles from London Heathrow Airport.
Hamedani told the program that US border agents took his phone and searched his Twitter feed "to find out my political views". He was also asked whether he had been trained in the Iranian military.
"I couldn't convince the guy because he kept questioning me: why I am holding a British passport? Why I didn't enter with an Iranian passport? I told the guy that I don't have a valid Iranian passport now."
When asked if he found it intimidating, Hamedani said, "It wasn't pleasant at all. To be honest with you, I was arrested back home in Iran in 2009 because I was working for the BBC, and I felt the same this time."
However, Hamedani said that the agents had been "respectful" and told him that they respected his career, but added "we are doing our job too".
Attorney generals from 15 states and the District of Columbia earlier condemned President Trump's temporary travel ban as an "unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order".
Trump has claimed that the travel ban on people from the seven countries is not a "Muslim ban" as many have dubbed it, with the White House releasing a statement saying that the policy was similar to an Obama policy in 2011. It claimed that the executive order is "not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe".