Shuttled home: Journalists' hope of US-Iran game dashed by denied visas
Reporters on the Job: Journalists in Tehran looking for a “color” lead on their Obama-and-Iran stories were disappointed when the US women’s badminton team were not issued visas by Iran. To read more about Iranians' view of Obama's stated aim to engage Iran, click here.
The “shuttlecock diplomacy” had a promising start. The US State Department announced that the team was on its way to Dubai to participate in a tournament in Tehran. We journalists woke to the news Tuesday morning, and I sent letters to Iran’s sporting federation and crossed Tehran in a sudden snowstorm to apply for credentials.
They were due to arrive late that night. But then there was a delay. The first Obama-era sports exchange between the US and Iran was going to be put off a day. Plans were made to go to the airport – almost an hour away – the next night at midnight, to meet the flight.
But then final word: No visas. No Americans. No color lead with US athletes breaking sporting ground in Iran.