Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik, the former Prime Minister of Norway was detained at an American airport on January 31 and questioned for over an hour after officials found an Iranian visa in his diplomatic passport.
Bondevik told CNN’s “Connect the World” he was interrogated by officials at Washington’s Dulles International Airport because of that Iranian visa, which he obtained in 2014 when he travelled for anti-extremism talk in Iran.
“When they found the Iranian visa, where I was in December 2014, they said that there was a … regulation that with such a visa I had to be flagged up,” Bondevik told CNN.
After the former European leader detailed his travel history — he was in Tehran speaking at an anti-extremism conference — Bondevik said he “assumed and presumed that they would let me go immediately.”
But instead, Bondevik said, he was questioned for over an hour.
“Did they really believe that I presented a problem or threat to the US? I expected they would show more flexibility and wisdom,” he said.
Bondevik said he was held along with migrants from the Middle East and Africa who were also facing additional screening.
Bondevik was eventually released, he said, adding that the atmosphere surrounding President Donald Trump’s travel ban had shaken his core values.