Iran General NewsEx-Iran soccer players may stage protest

Ex-Iran soccer players may stage protest


AP: Three former Iran players threatened to protest at the World Cup if their country’s hardline president attends. Associated Press

Associated Press Writer

BERLIN (AP) – Three former Iran players threatened to protest at the World Cup if their country’s hardline president attends.

They also urged host Germany to halt talks with the Tehran government over tournament security.

The players, members of dissident group the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said Wednesday they would protest any attempt to “politicize” the World Cup with a visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The German government has resisted calls to bar Ahmadinejad from the June 9-July 9 tournament for threatening Israel and denying the Holocaust happened. He has not indicated whether he plans to attend and Iranian embassy spokesman A.M. Ramazan said Wednesday he had no comment.

“Don’t let the Mullahs misuse the World Cup, the World Cup is a place for peaceful and civilized people, not a warmongering regime,” said Hassan Nayeb-Agah, who played at the 1978 World Cup. “Don’t let Mahmoud Ahmadinejad misuse the World Cup the same way Hitler did the 1936 Olympic Games.”

Nayeb-Agah was joined at a news conference by former teammate Bahram Mavadat and Asghar Adibi, a member of the Iran team from 1968-74.

Authorities have worried that Iranian opposition groups, with hundreds of members in Germany, might stage violent protests during the tournament.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center launched an international campaign urging FIFA to bar Ahmadinejad from attending the World Cup. In a letter to FIFA president Joseph Blatter, rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper said:

“The World Cup is a time of celebration by billions of people of the universal values of fair play and sportsmanship, inclusion and tolerance. Unfortunately, President Ahmadinejad has forfeited his right to attend the World Cup. He has endorsed genocide against Israel, vilified the Jewish people, and labeled the Nazi Holocaust and the murder of six million innocent men, women and children a myth. His attendance would be a desecration of the memory of their loved ones and a mockery of their suffering.”

Deputy interior minister August Hanning has said that, during talks in Tehran, it was agreed that German and Iranian authorities would cooperate over any possible threats to the Iran team during the tournament.

“When the Iranians fear a threat, they will tell us their reasons. Then our evaluation will flow back to Tehran,” Hanning told the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

But the former players insisted their group has no history of violence and urged Germany to stop co-operating with Iran on security.

“The recent negotiations with the mullahs by the German authorities is a shameful act,” Nayeb-Agah said.

Adibi said the group would demonstrate if Ahmadinejad showed up.

“It is a right of Iranians and all others here to protest against the presence of him and that such a criminal should not be allowed here,” he said.

Latest news

Grim Tidings for Iran’s Regime After Approval of UN Fact-Finding Mission

After many discussions and debates, the United Nations Human Rights Council has approved a fact-finding mission to investigate the...

Iranian People’s Resistance Changed the Appeasement Policy

Soon after the new US government started its obligations in January 2021, hand in hand with the European governments...

Khamenei’s Disgraceful Campaign Against Piranshahr and Javanrud, Who Will Be the Loser?

On the 67th day of Iran’s revolution, the Iranian regime attempted to put a halt to the protests in...

Iran: Expensive Medicine, Cheap Human Life

A look at the equipment and weapons that the Iranian regime has been using against its people to suppress...

Who Is Abolqasem Salavati Iran Regime’s Killer Judge?

Last week, it was announced that the case of several people who were arrested during the Iranian People's uprising...

Iran Revolution Characteristics

More than two months have passed since the start of the latest round of protests in Iran against the...

Must read

Iran ex-president son denies being charged with spying

AFP: The jailed son of Iran's former president Akbar...

White House praises release of journalist in Iran

AP: President Barack Obama is praising the release of...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you