Nuclear Negotiators Agree on Wrestling, Not Much Else

Dashiell Bennett
The Atlantic Wire

The first day of six-party talks between Iran and the world's major nuclear powers ended with one very important agreement on Tuesday—everyone loves wrestling. Affirming what they're Olympic representatives already said this month, American and Iranian diplomats took a controversial nuclear-proliferation summit as an opportunity to bond this morning over memories of the recent wrestling World Cup, which took place in Tehran last week, and the Olympic committee's decision to pull greco-roman and freestyle wrestling from future Olympic Games. 

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Both sides agree that the IOC's decision was dumb, and one U.S. official confirmed that both countries will work together to overturn the ban. Iran won last week's World Cup on their home mats, and the U.S. has the most Olympic gold medals in wrestling history, so they share a mutual interest in seeing the sport restored to its rigthful palce. The American wrestlers were even cheered by Iranian fans when they competed in Tehran, suggesting that—much like the "ping pong diplomacy" between the U.S. and China in the 1970s—our mutual love of sport could bridge the cultures and a break a long-standing stalement of icy relations among two rival countries.

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As for the nuclear weapons ... yeah, the talks ended after two hours with zero progress being made and it's doubtful any deal can be made before Iran's next presidential election in June.