Donald Trump

Iran bars US wrestlers after Trump’s travel ban

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 February, 2017, 1:58am
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 February, 2017, 2:35am

Iran on Friday banned American wrestlers from taking part in a competition in the country, in what appears to be the first action taken by Tehran in response to President Trump forbidding visas for Iranian nationals.

The Freestyle World Cup is scheduled for February 16-17 in the western city of Kermanshah and USA Wrestling was due to attend the competition. But according to Iran’s official state-run news agency IRNA, the Iranian foreign ministry said that it had to ban the wrestlers because of Trump’s executive order.

The travel ban covers seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, and the White House has also put the country “on notice” for a recent missile test. Trump is also dissatisfied with the Iran nuclear deal reached by the US and five other world powers. The White House said it is preparing to impose new sanctions on Iran.

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“Iran is playing with fire — they don’t appreciate how ”kind“ President Obama was to them. Not me!” Trump tweeted Friday.

There was no immediate response from USA Wrestling.

Rich Bender, USA Wrestling’s executive director, said in a statement before Friday’s development that this “tour continues a long history of goodwill and cooperation between the United States and Iran through wrestling, which is an impressive example of diplomacy between the people of these nations through sport.

Wrestling is extremely popular in Iran and has been practised since ancient times.