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Iran Reverses Decision, Will Allow Visas To Incoming U.S. Wrestlers For 2017 Freestyle World Cup

by Penn Collins

February 7, 2017

Last Friday, in response to President Trump’s immigration ban, Iran, which numbered among the seven countries affected, announced that it would, in turn, deny visas to U.S. wrestlers hoping to compete in the sport’s Freestyle World Cup, held in the city of Kermanshah from February 16-17. 

Just two days later, following the temporary lift of the ban by a federal judge, Iran has stated that it will, in fact, be granting visas to the U.S. athletes and teams hoping to compete. Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif explicitly said, via Twitter, that it was the reversal of the ban in concert with formal requests from both the U.S. and Iranian wrestling institutions, that led to the country’s reversal of policy in the matter: 

Previously, he had explained, also via Twitter, his issue with the Trump administration’s executive order: 

While diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States have been strained for decades, the sport of wrestling has served as a common ground of sorts. It ranks among the most popular sports in Iran, and American wrestling teams have competed in events hosted in Iran 15 times since 1998, according to Time

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