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UPDATED: 19:16, December 28, 2006
Iran says U.S. wrestlers not to be fingerprinted upon arrival
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Iran said that a U.S. wrestling team, due to attend a tournament in Iran in January, will not be fingerprinted upon their arrival, the Tehran Times reported on Thursday.

Head of the Iranian Wrestling Federation Mohammadreza Yazdani- Khorramwas was quoted as saying that the U.S. wrestlers will not be fingerprinted when they arrive in Tehran and Bandar Abbas where an international freestyle wrestling tournament will be held on Jan. 18-19.

The decision is a response to an announcement by U.S. authorities that Iranian teams particularly wrestlers will be provided with special visas that are usually issued to high- ranking officials when they arrive in the United States.

The U.S. move is in accordance with a protocol approved during the 27th World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou, China, which stipulates that teams will not be fingerprinted when they arrive in the United States.

Iran's Majlis, or parliament, approved on Nov. 19 a bill which requires related governmental departments to inspect and fingerprint all U.S. nationals upon arrival in Iran despite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's opposition to it.

The Guardian Council, which has the authority to vet all bills to determine their compatibility with rules of Islam and the Constitution before they become law, has approved the legislation.

The legislation was considered as a retaliation to the U.S. requirement that Iranian visitors be fingerprinted.

After the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, the United States has implemented such a measure on nationals of Iran and some other countries.

Source: Xinhua

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