EghtesadOnline: The United World Wrestling hailed 'wrestling diplomacy' that it said has finally brought the US wrestling team’ to Iran after weeks of disputes between the Iranian and US government led by the US President Donald Trump's visa ban.
“After weeks of diplomatic squabbling between governments, wrestlers from the United States arrived Sunday in Iran” United World Wrestling wrote in its website on Monday.
According to IRNA, the US wrestlers came to Iran to take part in the 2017 Freestyle World Cup slated for Feb 16-17.
“The delegation, led by 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs (USA) was cheered on by local wrestling fans and greeted by a swarm of media,” UWW wrote in its website.
“The American team arrives after the governments of Iran and United States spent weeks going back-and-forth on the details of lawful travel between the two countries.
“The issues were resolved last week after a court in the United States overturned an executive order, once again allowing Iranians to enter the Unites States. The Iranian government reciprocated, a move which allowed the American wrestlers entry for the World Cup.”
The US President, Donald Trump has signed an executive order on January 27, upon which US borders will be closed for 4 months on refugees. Visa issuance has also been banned for seven Muslim countries, including Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen for 3 months.
The US decision has widely been criticized by human rights bodies, indicating that Trump has targeted Muslims for their beliefs.
“While respecting Americans and differentiating between them and hostile US policies, Iran will take reciprocal measures to protect citizens,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Jan 28 in response to Trump’s order.
“Unlike the U.S., our decision is not retroactive. All with valid Iranian visa will be gladly welcomed,” he later said.
“Following the court ruling suspending Muslim ban and the requests from Iranian Wrestling Federation and FILA, US Wrestlers' visa will be granted,” Zarif tweeted on Feb 4 after a US federal judge in Seattle, James Robart, temporarily suspended Trump's executive order.
Robart's move led to an angry reaction by the US new president who later said the order by the 'so-called judge' would lead to 'big trouble'.
Nevertheless, the US wrestlers were given a warm welcome upon their arrival in Tehran's International Imam Khomeini Airport.
“The Iranian people love wrestling,' said Burroughs who leads the US team.
'I'm very thankful for the warm reception we received today and even more grateful that this trip was made possible. We are very happy to be here in Iran and ready to compete! #worldcup2017,' the two-time Olympian wrote on his Instagram according to the USA Today.
The 45th round of the 2017 Freestyle World Cup is scheduled to be held with the attendance of eight top world teams in the Iranian western province, Kermanshah, on February 16-17.