In Retaliation, Iran Blocks U.S. Squad From Competing in Wrestling World Cup

So I take this one kind of personal.

My son wrestled (quite successfully) all through high school, and then through college. As a teacher, he went on to coach a successful high school wrestling squad in central North Carolina, and even won Coach of the Year for the conference, last year.

My time spent as a “wrestling mom” has made me sensitive to the rigors these young men put themselves through to train for every tournament.

With that in mind, the fallout from Trump’s travel ban on Muslim immigrants is rolling in and having unintended consequences for some of our citizens.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Friday announced that it will not allow the U.S. wrestling team to compete at the Freestyle World Cup wrestling competition later this month.

According to the New York Times, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the ban on U.S. athletes was decided by “a special committee, which opposed to presence of the team after necessary studies.”

I imagine we should have expected something like this. Last week, Iran announced that U.S. citizens were barred from entering the country, as a response to Trump’s executive order.

Was tourism to Iran really a big thing, anyway? I don’t know.

This is, no doubt, a huge letdown for the athletes.

The spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee, Patrick Sandusky, said that the committee is “disappointed” for the wrestlers.

“We are disappointed for our wrestlers, who have been warmly welcomed by the Iranian public on many occasions,” he said, according to the newspaper.

Disappointing, indeed.

Iran is one of the seven nations specifically named in the ban, which isn’t really a ban as much as it is a temporary restriction.

Immigrants seeking to come into the United States from those nations must wait 90 days, in order to allow for more thorough vetting, before gaining entrance.

Only Syrian immigrants face an indefinite ban.

If the Iranians wished to truly be reciprocal, they would only hold U.S. citizens to a temporary restriction.

I would like to think there was some way to work this out for everyone involved.

Last week’s implementation of Trump’s executive order was clumsily executed, and the optics of mass hysteria, families crying while they waited on their loved ones, and protesters who didn’t seem to have any stronger grasp of what was happening, beyond it was something Trump did, blew this far out of proportion.

Unfortunately, this is the world we live in, now, and nobody is winning this one.

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Susan Wright

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