After Khamenei’s anti-Israel rant, athletes want the IOC to suspend Iran

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The executive director of United for Navid, an Iran-led sports organization that campaigns for the human rights of Iranian athletes, filed a formal letter of protest with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday, arguing that the Islamic Republic should be suspended by the IOC because of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called for discrimination against Israeli athletes.

Sardar Pashaei, a former head coach of Iran’s Greco-Roman wrestling team, United’s executive manager for Navid, wrote to IOC President Thomas Bach that a video of Khamenei’s anti-Israel speech was “further evidence” [of] Iran’s serious violations of the Olympic and Paralympic charters. “

Attached to the letter was a September 17 video by Khamenei meeting Iranian Olympic and Paralympic athletes who won medals at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

Iran‘s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gives a televised address in Tehran, Iran, March 11, 2021. (Photo credit: OFFICIAL KHAMENEI WEBSITE / HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)” title=”Iran‘s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gives a televised address in Tehran, Iran, March 11, 2021. (Photo credit: OFFICIAL KHAMENEI WEBSITE / HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)”/>Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gives a televised address in Tehran, Iran, March 11, 2021. (Photo credit: OFFICIAL KHAMENEI WEBSITE / HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Pashaei wrote, “As you can see, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic is once again strongly instructing Iranian athletes and Iranian sports officials that they are prohibited from competing with, or in any way matching, athletes from the so-called ‘Israeli criminal regime’ to interact .’ The Supreme Leader also instructs senior Iranian sports officials to support non-Iranian athletes from other countries who refuse to compete with Israeli athletes, including an Algerian athlete who refused to compete with an Israeli athlete in the Tokyo Olympics. “

Decorated Greco-Roman wrestler Pashaei, who won a world championship, said: “The Iranian leader tells the athletes that the illegitimate Israeli regime wants to gain legitimacy by participating in international competitions and that Israeli athletes are not allowed to compete and win medals . This is a clear example of the political influence exercised by the senior official in the Iranian government in sport and directly violates the Olympic and Paralympic charters. “

United for Navid is named after the murdered Greco-Roman wrestler Navid Afkari, who made international headlines last year before his execution by the Iranian regime for protesting against Khamenei’s corruption.

Vigil for Navid Afkari, a wrestler killed by the Iranian regime, in Toronto, Canada (Source: Wikimedia Commons)Vigil for Navid Afkari, a wrestler killed by the Iranian regime, in Toronto, Canada (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Pashaei, who currently resides in the US, remarked, “As reported in separate letters about the sacrifice of Iranian athletes for not being allowed to compete with Israeli athletes, we are again formally demanding that Iran pursue such a systematic policy of Olympic violations and Paralympic Charters, the International Olympic Committee is suspending Iran from international competition and conducting an official investigation into the current state of Iranian sport.

Sheina Vojoudi, an Iranian dissident who fled the Islamic Republic, said: The Jerusalem Post: “Ali Khamenei brings his deadly ideology to the sport and he suppresses Iranian athletes who train for life to compete in the Olympics, to have a fair competition with other athletes from all over the world, their efforts and dreams for his dangerous abandon and genocidal ideology. Ali Khamenei ruins lives and dreams because of his hatred of the Jewish people and the Jewish state of Israel. “

Vojoudi, who is well versed in Iranian wrestling and Iranian grappling stars, added: “Iranian athletes will have no problem meeting Israeli athletes, but the inhumane rules of the Islamic Republic are putting their lives at risk. You only have three options to compete with Israeli athletes: you can refuse and lose your dream of an Olympic medal. They can compete and flee the country. They can compete against each other and return to Iran and face the consequences that have cost them all their lives and even imprisonment. “

She said, “This is a violation of human rights and the Olympic Charter. The regime in Iran doesn’t care about Iranian athletes. Iranian women athletes suffer from the compulsory hijab at competitions, they do not even believe in hijab, like most Iranian women, but they are forced to wear it against their own will. ”

The German IOC President Bach has shown no desire to punish the Iranian regime for its anti-Semitism or to sanction Tehran’s rulers for their widespread extrajudicial assassination of Afkari.

In September, Iran arrested Sheyda Hamedani, a popular Iranian poet who used her poetry as a form of activism against the theocratic state.

Karmel Melamed, an Iranian-American journalist and religious minority activist in Iran, said the post that: “It is really heartbreaking to witness the total silence of the Biden government and many European countries about the arbitrary arrest and disappearance of Sheyda Hamedani by the Iranian regime, who had the courage to speak out publicly against the regime’s human rights violations.

Melamed added: “He is not a criminal, he is a poet who called on the Iranian people to protest non-violently against the regime’s failure to help people who die from COVID every day. Why don’t western leaders make this Iranian regime for their crimes against the innocent people of Iran? “

Iranians have since launched a social campaign to seek the release of Hamedani. Voice of America journalist and women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad tweeted: “Sheyda Hamedani, a publicly known poet from Iran who has read many poems against the regime, was taken to an unknown location by security forces. It is not clear where State he is located. ” Join the campaign to get him released #ReleaseSheyda. “



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