The Iranian national team, competing at the World Cup in Qatar, lost its first match on Monday, but that wasn’t the story the Iranian people back home cared about. That the team refused to sing the Iranian national anthem is the actual story for many.
According to CBS, “Before the gesture, the team had lost support from their fellow Iranians after meeting with Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi, Holly Dagres, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and an Iranian-American national, told CBS News correspondent Roxana Saberi.”
Dagres said the team not singing might be meaningful if Iranians weren’t already upset with the team “celebrating their World Cup entry, as ‘protesters were being slain in the streets by security forces….’”
An Iranian activist, Masih Alinejad, based in New York City, posted her condemnation of the soccer team on Twitter.
Alinejad posted, “Iran is the only country in the World Cup that its people want their national football team to lose since the team doesn’t represent the people but the regime.”
The BBC reported, “Some fans shouted and jeered during the anthem, and others held up signs saying ‘Woman, Life, Freedom.’”
Iranians have been protesting the terrorist theocracies’ brutal crackdown on people who want freedom from the oppressive, clerical regime.
The protests were “sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini in September. The 22-year-old Amini was detained by morality police for allegedly breaking the strict rules around head coverings. Human rights activists have said more than 400 protesters have been killed and 16,800 others arrested in a crackdown by Iran’s security forces.”
Those Iranians who haven’t forgiven the team despite their gesture will be happy to know England trounced Iran 6-2 in their first match of the World Cup competition.
Otherwise, any protest against the Iranian tyrants has to be seen as a good thing for the world–and the World Cup.
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