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Iran To Issue Visas To U.S. Wrestling Team

Source: RFE/RL

Iran will issue visas for a U.S. wrestling team to attend the February 16-17 Freestyle World Cup competition, the Islamic Republic News Agency reports, reversing a decision announced on February 3 that banned visas for the team in response to an executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump banning visas for Iranians.

"Sport Sacrificed by Politics" (front page of Iranian daily Bahar)
Iranian press and sports officials advised against banning American wrestlers

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said in a Telegram message that the visas would be issued for the U.S. team partly because of a decision by a U.S. federal judge to block the executive order.

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ruled late on February 3 that the executive order could not be enforced until the case against it brought by the states of Washington and Minnesota was decided.

A day later, the U.S. Justice Department filed an appeal to reinstate President Donald Trump's executive order.

Iranian and American wrestlers in 2013 World Cup in Tehran
(file photo by Islamic Republic News Agency)

Qasemi did not clarify whether Americans with Iranian visas would be allowed to enter Iran or if any new visas would be issued to U.S. citizens.

The order temporarily bans all refugees as well as citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States.

On February 3, the United States imposed new sanctions against Iran, a move that comes days after Tehran conducted a ballistic-missile test and amid an escalating war of words between the two governments.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

... Payvand News - 02/05/17 ... --

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