Iran Rebuffs US Badminton Team's Shuttle Diplomacy
Invited team denied visas in mystifying move
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2009 2:16 AM CST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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(Newser) – Iran has refused entry to US women badminton players invited to play in an international tournament marking the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. The eight athletes and four coaches and managers were denied visas in a move that has mystified the Obama administration, reports the Washington Post. "This not a good step forward," said a State Department spokesman. An official of Iran's Badminton Federation expressed disappointment. "We hope the Americans will forgive us," he said.