US visa granted to Iranian seeking to help brother with cancer despite travel ban

US visa granted to Iranian seeking to help brother with cancer despite travel ban
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An Iranian man has been granted a U.S. visa, allowing him to travel to the country in hopes to donating bone marrow to his brother. 

Reuters reported Friday that Kamiar Hashemi, an Iranian citizen, had been granted a rare waiver to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE's travel ban, which bars people from Iran and seven other countries from coming to the U.S. 

Hashemi had applied for the visa at the U.S. consulate in Yerevan, Armenia, in February, after discovering that he was a 100 percent match for a bone marrow transplant that could save the life of his brother, a U.S. citizen who has blood cancer.


Initially, the State Department's website showed that Hashemi's visa application had been refused. 

But the man's lawyer, Mahsa Khanbabai, told Reuters that she received a call on Thursday that Hashemi had been granted a waiver to the travel ban and that he should make arrangements to pick up the visa in Armenia.

"It’s unfortunate that so much effort had to go into getting just one, clearly urgent, visa approved," Khanbabai told Reuters. "There are thousands of people stuck, also with urgent cases, with no idea what is happening."

Trump's travel ban, which bars most people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela from coming to the U.S. was allowed to go into effect in December, after months of legal challenges.

According to Reuters, the State Department has approved 375 waivers to the ban, though it is not clear how many people applied in total.