Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

US women's badminton team in Iran

Badminton racket and shuttlecock
Badminton follows wrestling in the latest bid to improve US-Iran relations

The United States is sending a women's badminton team to Tehran as part of an ongoing bid to engage with the Iranian people through cultural exchanges.

It comes as the US considers new approaches to Iran, and is the first such exchange between the two countries since President Obama took office.

Washington and Tehran have had no diplomatic ties for nearly 30 years.

But cultural exchanges between the two nations began in 2006, under President George W Bush.

Artists and athletes

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran has enforced strict dress codes requiring women to cover their hair and to hide the shape of their bodies in public.

But the eight US players are expected to wear their normal kits, as games will be restricted to female spectators.

"In the past two years, over 250 Iranians, including artists, athletes, and medical professionals, have participated in exchange programmes in the United States," the US state department said.

The state department said it hoped to extend an invitation to Iran's national badminton team to come to the United States in July.

Previously, the Iranian national teams for basketball, water polo, weightlifting, as well as men's and women's national table tennis teams have visited the United States.

Members of USA Wrestling have also travelled to Iran to take part in a competition.

Print Sponsor

US wrestling team visits Iran
17 Feb 98 |  S/W Asia
High hopes of Iran's women rowers
01 Aug 08 |  Middle East
Obama victory offers hope to Iran
06 Nov 08 |  Middle East


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific