Media Note
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 2, 2009


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will send a delegation of 12 Americans, including eight female athletes, coaches, and managers representing USA Badminton, to Tehran, Iran, from February 3-9th. The team will compete in the Fajr International Badminton Tournament at the invitation of the Iranian Badminton Federation.

Celebrating its 19th year, the Fajr Tournament is a respected international badminton event and an opportunity to compete against talented teams from many countries, including Iran. Teams representing 16 countries plan to compete in the Iranian tournament, scheduled for February 5-8th. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and USA Badminton look forward to hosting the Iranian Badminton Federation for the U.S. Open in July.

This visit is part of our people-to-people exchanges with Iran. Since 2006, the U.S. Department of State has included Iranians in a range of educational, professional, and cultural exchange programs. In the past two years, over 250 Iranians, including artists, athletes, and medical professionals, have participated in exchange programs in the United States. Through its Sports United program, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has brought the Iranian National Teams for Basketball, Water Polo, Weightlifting, and members of the men’s and women’s National Table Tennis teams to the United States. The U.S. Department of State also sent 20 members of USA Wrestling to Iran to compete in the prestigious Takhti Cup in January 2007.

For more information on ECA’s Sports United and USA Badminton, see http://exchanges.state.gov and www.usabadminton.org, or contact: Kate Starr, StarrKL@state.gov, or Edgar Vasquez, VasquezEJ2@state.gov.




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