Here’s a video of Iranians cheering the U.S. wrestling team in Tehran

February 25, 2013

There's a long history of sports diplomacy serving as a kind of release valve for international tensions. Last week's international wrestling tournament in Tehran, where the Iranian and American teams took a low-stakes opportunity to show a bit of mutual goodwill, was a nice example.

Above, posted by CNN over the weekend, is a video of Iranian wrestling fans getting in on the love. As if performing a sort of corrective to the U.S.-Iranian antagonism that is increasingly costing their country, the fans made a big show of cheering the American team and one American in particular: star wrestler Jordan Burroughs.

"It was pretty cool," Burroughs told CNN. "Every time I step out there, once they see me, they're excited to see me, cheering my name and screaming my name and giving me praises. It's pretty cool."

Shortly after, a representative of the U.S. wrestling federation told reporters that he hoped the Iranian team would be able to attend a May tournament in New York's Times Square.

It would be easy to read too much into the implications of a few hundred or thousand Iranians cheering for one U.S. sports team at one event, but the event is nonetheless a reminder that Iranian views of the U.S. are more complicated than you might believe after watching, for example, the Academy Award best picture winner "Argo."

Continue reading 10 minutes left
Comments
Show Comments