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Iran lifted its ban on the US wrestling team

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Iran announced Sunday that it will lift its ban on U.S. wrestlers, allowing them to compete in the 2017 Freestyle World Cup, which is scheduled to take place later this month in the city of Kermanshah, Iranian media reports. 

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi told the country's state-run news agency that the ban was lifted because a U.S. federal judge blocked Donald Trump's "discriminative restrictions" on Iranians traveling to America. 


Iran's Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, echoed Qasemi on Twitter.

Friday Iran initially banned American wrestlers from the Feb. 16-17 competition after Trump issued an executive order that temporarily suspended travelers from seven majority Muslim countries, including Iran. 

United World Wrestling (UWW) president Nenad Lalovic issued a statement shortly after Iran issued its ban, saying that the organization was trying to find a solution. 


"Though we had hoped for a different outcome from Iran's Foreign Ministry, we appreciate the complex nature of this decision," Lalovic said.

Despite tensions between the U.S. and Iran, the two countries frequently host one another in competitions. 

"United World Wrestling hosts a full calendar of events every season and we're certain to see American and Iranian wrestlers on the same mat again in the very near future," Lalovic added. 

When the ban was initially instated, Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs expressed his disappointment in missing out on the competition because of the ban. 

"I just wanted to compete," Burroughs told NBC Sports.  "It’s been a while since I competed. I was excited to return to the mat. This was going to be a prestigious event that I got to do with my team members.”

Members of the U.S. team weren't the only ones critical of the ban, however. At least one member of Iranian parliament, Ali Mohtari, argued that Iran should welcome American wrestlers. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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