Iran has banned a well-known athlete for life after a photo with an Israeli. The weightlifter Mustafa Radschaie Langrudi is no longer allowed to compete for Iran because of a photo on the winner's podium with an Israeli in a competition in Poland, the Hamschahri newspaper reported on Wednesday. The Islamic Republic of Iran regards Israel as its arch-enemy.
According to the report, the professional athlete won two silver medals at the sporting event in the Polish city of Wieliczka. A photo on social media showed Langrudi with an Iranian flag around his neck next to a coach and an Israeli athlete. Encounters between hostile countries at sporting events repeatedly made headlines.
In comments under the posted pictures, such as from the journalist Masih Alinejad, there is mostly anger and incomprehension about the decision. Iran itself "should be banned from all international sporting competitions" is another of the more harmless comments.
Meanwhile, Iran's foreign minister has reiterated threats by the Islamic Republic against arch-enemy Israel. "None of the Zionist regime's criminal acts will go unpunished," Hussein Amirabdollahian said Wednesday during a state visit to Syria, a close ally of Iran, according to the state news agency IRNA. According to Syrian sources, Israel's military attacked Aleppo airport again on Monday night, causing damage.
Israel, in turn, regularly attacks targets in the neighboring civil war country to prevent Iran from expanding its military influence there with the help of militias. Iran, along with Russia, is the most important ally of the Syrian government under ruler Bashar al-Assad. For Tehran, Syria is part of the "axis of resistance" in the fight against Israel, along with the powerful Shiite organization Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Sources: "Hamshahri", Instagram, DPA