The Iranian Foreign Ministry has officially barred the US wrestling team from joining the Freestyle World Cup due to be held later this month, days after Washington imposed a travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim nations, including Iran.
“Given the policies adopted by the new US administration, the Foreign Ministry was inevitably put in circumstances, forcing it to oppose the US freestyle wrestling team’s travel to Iran,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Friday.
The American athletes were due to attend the prestigious international wrestling tournament in Iran’s western city of Kermanshah from February 16-17.
Last Friday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order, banning the entry of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen into the United States for 90 days over purported security concerns.
Iranian Foreign Ministry slammed Trump’s executive order as “insulting,” vowing that Tehran would respond to the move in kind.
The ministry later announced the formation of a committee tasked with canvassing potential participation of the athletes in the event.
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“As announced earlier, the issue had been referred to an ad hoc committee. The matter was discussed there and eventually it was decided that the wrestlers cannot travel to Iran,” Qassemi added.
Trump’s move has been met with far-and-wide backlash both at home and abroad.
France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc, who had traveled to Tehran earlier in the week, took on the decision, saying he thought the order was “dangerous,” amounted to “discrimination,” and had to be revoked.
Qassemi also said on Friday that, under the order by Trump, US authorities had last week refused to issue visas to members of the Islamic Republic’s archery team to take part in US-based competitions The competitions are due later this month.