The State Department confirmed Wednesday that the U.S. badminton team won’t be going to Iran as planned this week for a tournament.
“This is a very unfortunate situation,” State Department Spokesman Robert Wood said at his morning briefing. “Apparently the Iranian consulate in Dubai did not issue visas to the American team in time to participate in the tournament I believe scheduled February 5 through 8. The team is returning tonight.” Wood said.
Twelve Americans had planned on traveling to Tehran, including eight players, a coach, a manager and representatives of the American Badminton Federation.
The visit was seen as a low-level but important gesture to improve contacts between the United States and Iranian people at a time when there are no official relations between the two countries.
In recent years American wrestlers have competed in Iran and Iranians artists have come to Washington and toured the U.S. Wood said there had been no formal communication from the Iranians, through the Swiss government which acts as a diplomatic go-between in the absence of official U.S. representation in Iran. He said he believed the Iranian Badminton Federation had expressed “disappointment” that the visas were not granted. And Wood said he believed all the Americans’ paperwork was in order and on time.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with