Her puppy, job and life is in the US, but she's locked out
AFTER almost 10 years in the United States, where she has earned a PhD in engineering and raised a puppy, Iranian woman Nazanin Zinouri now has no idea if she will ever return to her new life.
Ms Zinouri had travelled to Iran for a short holiday, she said, on break from her work as a data scientist at Clemson University in South Carolina.
When US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning Iranians, and others from six fellow Muslim-majority nations, Ms Zinouri was en route back to America via Dubai.
She watched Mr Trump sign the order from Tehran, ABC News reports, and realised her valid visa may become suddenly less valid.
"That was a really terrifying moment, and I just decided to go ahead and find the earliest flight at any cost," she said.
Last Friday she left Iran at 8.10am and arrived in Dubai a few hours later.
Soon she was on a plane bound for Washington, and due to take-off at 3pm.
But it would ultimately leave without her.
She realised how serious her situation was as two security officers approached her and said they had learned she was travelling to the US on an Iranian passport.
"I knew what was coming but I wasn't sure if it was actually happening, and after minutes and minutes of horror not knowing what's coming, finally, they removed me and they said I cannot go to the United States based on the new security rules."
Ms Nazanin is devastated.
In a Facebook post now shared more than 184,000 times, she wrote, "They didn't say it with words but with their actions, that my life doesn't matter".
"Everything I worked for all these years doesn't matter."