A British journalist hoping to visit relatives in New Jersey arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport only to be told she couldn’t fly to the United States without a visa because she also has Iranian nationality.Rana Rahimpour said she was “devastated” at learning the news, which came as the Obama administration starts testing how to implement a law that imposes new visa restrictions on certain dual nationals seeking to enter the United States.Rahimpour’s case suggests there is confusion within the administration over the status of the implementation of the law, which was signed by President Barack Obama in December. POLITICO has repeatedly requested details on how the administration will interpret the new rules, but officials have been largely unresponsive. Those rules have angered the Iranian government, who has questioned whether they violate the Iran nuclear deal, as well as European leaders who say businessmen, aid workers, journalists and others who often travel to the four targeted countries will have to endure an onerous and expensive U.S. visa process.Rahimpour noted that she hasn’t been able to visit Iran for years because the Iranian government is deeply suspicious of the BBC Persian service’s activities. And now the U.S. is putting up new barriers.“It’s very unfair,” she said. “You really feel that you are being punished twice.” Also On POLITICO Forum Is Iran really so evil? By Stephen Kinzer War Room Obama’s new dance with Iran By Philip Gordon and Richard Nephew Rahimpour, who works for the BBC Persian service, was born in Iran but has lived in Britain since 2008, is married to a Briton and has a British passport. She is pregnant and had hoped to make one last overseas trip before the baby arrives.With her two-year-old daughter tagging along, Rahimpour wanted to surprise her brother and his family in New Jersey, with plans to celebrate her nephew’s sixth birthday. Two of her cousins, also British-Iranian, planned to travel with her.“The whole week I was picturing their faces when we were going to knock on their door,” she told POLITICO in a phone conversation after chronicling her situation on Twitter.The 33-year-old was told by contacts in Washington that the new visa rules didn’t take effect until April. Like all British citizens must, on Friday she applied for visa clearance through the Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization site, which indicated she would get a response within 72 hours.Having already bought the tickets, she arrived at the airport Tuesday with the ESTA response still pending. While at the airport, she called an ESTA official to check on the status of her case, and was told that her request to travel without a visa had been denied because of the new law.There are bipartisan efforts in Congress to repeal the dual nationality provision of the visa law, and the White House supports such a change, but for now it must proceed under the legislation passed in December. On Tuesday, when asked about Rahimpour’s case, a senior administration official said “the U.S. government has not yet begun denying any of these applications” under the new law, meaning Rahimpour should not have been required to get a visa just yet because of her Iranian background.“The U.S. government is conducting a phased implementation of the new Visa Waiver Program legislation,” the official added. “Certain applications have been referred to a review process based on the enactment of the new law.”The new visa law, passed in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, applies to certain people from 38 countries, most of them European, who in the past would have been allowed to temporarily travel to the United States without a visa.Under the new rules, anyone from those 38 countries who has visited Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan since March 1, 2011 — or who is a dual national of one of those four countries — cannot travel to the United States without a visa.The dual nationality provision in particular is tricky because there is no international agreement on how to deal with people of multiple nationalities. Each country sets its own rules.Iran has a broad definition of who counts as an Iranian, including bestowing Iranian nationality on many people who may have never been to Iran. The German-born child of an Iranian man counts as an Iranian, and, according to some interpretations, so do the non-Iranian wives of Iranian men.