Minister Petříček: Iran visa scandal ‘individual failing’ of recalled Amb. Čumba

Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) has described the irregular granting of Czech visas to Iranian entrepreneurs as having resulted from an “individual failing” on the part of the recently recalled Czech ambassador to Iran.

The daily Deník N reported on Wednesday that the Czech Republic had recalled career diplomat Svatopluk Čumba from Tehran early following an investigation of fraudulent practices in granting Schengen visas to Iranians.

According to the daily, the scheme allegedly also involved the Czech-Slovak -Iranian Chamber of Commerce, led by Jan Kavan, a former Czech Foreign Minister, and Zdeněk Zbytek, a former officer in the Czechoslovak Army who led a tank battalion during the Velvet Revolution.

Amb. Čumba allegedly granted 400 priority visas to individuals recommended by Kavan and in doing so circumvented standard procedures for granting Schengen visas.

Petříček said he was prepared to provide full details to the foreign affairs committee of the lower house of Parliament. The General Inspectorate of the Czech Foreign Ministry has been investigating the alleged practice.

Author: Brian Kenety