Due to an embargo on goods or services from Iran dating to 1995, NBA teams are being forbidden to talk with Iranian basketball star Hamed Ehadadi. Ehadadi is 7’2″ and has done quite well in these Olympics, but cannot make the move to the NBA because of ridiculous bureaucratic sanctions.
There have been occasions where foreign players have struggled to gain entry in European countries in order to play soccer. These instances often are based on work permit issues and not country-wide embargoes. In this case, Ehadadi wants to play in the league and there is interest in his services, despite his reputation as a ‘project’ player. If he were from any other country, there would be absolutely nothing to stop teams from at least talking with his agent.
The goal of the embargo was originally to keep US companies from buying Iranian oil in hopes that other countries would follow and cause severe economic woes on Iran. Though that never really worked out, this embargo is still in place, even though the government has completely changed in the past thirteen years. An exception to this law has to be out there because it’s ridiculous for the NBA, or any sports league, to be denied access to players because of our governments’ dislike for the government of another country.