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Iranian Receives U.S. Visa To Help Brother With Cancer

Maziar Hashemi (right), who has the cancer Myelodysplastic syndrome, and his wife, Fereshteh, leave in an elevator after meeting with his transplant doctor at a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 26.

An Iranian man has been allowed to travel to the United States to donate bone marrow to his U.S. citizen brother with blood cancer, the family's lawyer says.

Kamiar Hashemi was granted a visa by the U.S. State Department, obtaining a rare waiver to President Donald Trump's travel ban, Mahsa Khanbabai said on March 29.

Hashemi had applied for a U.S. visa at the U.S. Consulate in Yerevan, Armenia, in February when he learned he was a rare 100 match for a transplant that could save his brother Maziar's life, Khahbabai said.

The consulate confirmed the visa had been granted during a telephone call on March 29, according to the lawyer.

Trump's travel ban bars most travelers to the United States from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, and North Korea.

The U.S. Supreme Court allowed it to go into effect on December 8, 2017, after months of legal battles.

The ban does allow for case-by-case waivers to be granted, but critics say the process is difficult with few clear guidelines on how to apply and why waivers are, or are not, granted.

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

Based on reporting by Reuters and CNN