The Iranian national karate team was denied a visa to enter the United States for The World Games in Birmingham, Fox News is reporting.
The report cites Iran’s karate team has direct links to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a terrorist organization.
The Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) reported on Tuesday that the American government denied visas to the karate team.
Sardar Pashaei, the Iranian-American former head coach of Iran’s national Greco-Roman wrestling team, first identified the team members’ links with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC.)
“We believe that athletes who are part of the Islamic Republic’s system of repression and propaganda should not set foot on American soil. In Iran, they are saying, ‘Death to America and Israel,’ but at the same time they are applying for American visas,” he told Fox News Digital.
A State Department spokesperson told Fox News on Tuesday that “Visa records are confidential under U.S. law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases.”
The World Games is an international sports event held every four years, in the year following each Summer Olympic Games. Staged over 11 days, The Games represent the pinnacle of competition for 3,600 of the world’s best athletes in 30+ unique, multi-disciplinary sports. The World Games generates worldwide exposure for participating sports and provides a highly visible stage on which athletes from more than 100 countries compete for gold.
Mark Heim is a reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.