Ambassador Ahmad Kattan, Deputy Chief of the Saudi Diplomatic Mission in Washington DC, explained that the Embassy had been informed on January 23 by the U.S. Department of State that 14 staff members of the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Studies in America (IIASA), including 9 Saudi nationals, had had their A-2 visas revoked because they were no longer in accordance with diplomatic visa regulations. IIASA staff were given until February 22, 2004 to depart the United States. Ambassador Kattan stressed that the departure of these employees does not preclude the employees from applying for reentry to the United States.
IIASA was established in Northern Virginia 15 years ago as an affiliate of the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh. In accordance with the regulations in effect at the time, all IIASA employees are registered with the U.S. State Department, and non-U.S. citizens were issued A-2 visas.