Khamenei: Iranian Athletes Cannot Shake Hands with Representatives of Israeli Regime

Iranian Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei stressed that the genocidal and illegitimate Israeli regime is attempting to gain legitimacy by participating in international sports competitions.

  • Iranian Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei
    Iranian Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei

Iranian Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei met today medalists who participated at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Khamenei hailed the bravery of the Iranian athletes refusing to recognize “Israel” by not facing its representatives despite the looming consequences, describing the situation as "a very important issue".

"The ruthless, genocidal, and illegitimate regime is trying to gain legitimacy by participating in international sports arenas, and the world of arrogance is helping it, but honorable sports officials and athletes should not be passive in this regard at all," the Iranian Leader stressed.

Furthermore, Khamenei denounced the Israeli regime's retaliatory measures, which included pushing for the suspension or banning of athletes who refused to play against an Israeli player.    

"The ministries of sports and foreign affairs and legal bodies should pursue this issue through legal channels and support our athletes and even the Muslim athletes of other countries, such as the Algerian athlete who was recently banned," he added.  

The Iranian Leader made explicit that “a proud Iranian athlete cannot shake hands with a representative of a criminal regime for a medal, thus practically recognizing it", highlighting that “this issue has a precedent”. 

“In the past, athletes from other countries refused to compete with the representatives of the apartheid regime in South Africa, and after a while, that regime collapsed as will the Zionist regime, “the Iranian leader concluded.

It is worth mentioning that Iran won 76 medals- 24 golds, 23 silvers, and 29 bronzes, at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Who is the Algerian Athlete?

  • Fethi Nourine
    Fethi Nourine

Fethi Nourine was suspended along with his coach for 10 years by the International Judo Federation (IJF) for withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics after the draw set him on course for about against an Israeli.

Nourine told the Algerian press that he was "shocked" by the sentence, adding that he was not expecting it to be as severe and that he will appeal it.

The judoka's withdrawal from the competition was met with great support on social media, at a time when Saudi Tahani al-Qahtani went up against an Israeli opponent and lost.

The Olympic player had also withdrawn from the 2019 World Judo Championship, which was also held in Tokyo, in order to avoid facing an Israeli opponent.