HomeWorldMany Iranians want US victory in World Cup match amid ongoing protests

Many Iranians want US victory in World Cup match amid ongoing protests


As anti-regime demonstrations in Iran enter their 75th day, many of the protesters hope that the US men’s World Cup team and the Biden administration can send a signal of support to the protesters.

Some protesters feel that a loss or draw for Iran in the upcoming match against the US will hurt the regime on the world stage and fuel the protesters’ fight.

In an encrypted phone interview with Fox News Digital on Monday, an Iranian woman who called herself “Mahoora” and lives in southern Iran said: “It’s not just some people in Iran, it’s the majority of people in Iran who want to let America win” on Tuesday. the silent majority [of Iranians] did not celebrate the victory of the regime team over Wales.”

Mahoora explained that Iranians reject their national team, saying: “Because a football team must honor its people. They must be our champions. But right now, people in the street are being killed. And people are burying the children after they were killed, and the mullahs’ football team met [President] Ebrahim Raisi and celebrate someone’s birthday and laugh together. And they did not pay attention to people. The footballers just wanted to be the center of attention.”

He added: “The people of Iran know the US as [a] symbol of democracy and the people of Iran yearn for democracy”.

Reports claim that many Iranians did not cheer or celebrate after Iran’s victory against Wales at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on November 25, 2022.
(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

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During the Fox News Digital interview with Mahoora, the internet connection was frequently interrupted due to the efforts of the clerical regime to disrupt the talks amid the protest movement unfolding in the totalitarian state.

Mahoora noted that “after the mullahs’ football team won against Wales, the people of Iran did not celebrate. The regime brought terrorists, Hezbollah, from Lebanon and the Houthis from Yemen to celebrate the victory.”

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ali “Khamenei is just [a] Russian servant. Khamenei is stealing Iran’s wealth,” Mahoora said.

Mahoora cannot provide his full name due to the violent crackdown on anti-regime dissent.

According to the NGO Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the clerical regime has killed 451 protesters and jailed 18,170 since mid-September. HRANA said that 60 security personnel have been killed during demonstrations across the country.

Reports from Iran say that Iranians applauded England's victory against Iran and are now supporting the United States when they face Iran in a World Cup match on November 29, 2022.

Reports from Iran say that Iranians applauded England’s victory against Iran and are now supporting the United States when they face Iran in a World Cup match on November 29, 2022.
(Richard Sellers/Getty Images)

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Riots across Iran were sparked by the September 13 arrest of Mahsa Amini in Tehran by the morality police for her alleged failure to properly cover her hair with a hijab.

Mahoora cited three Iranian soccer stars who are not in Doha, Qatar, the venue for the World Cup, but who support the Iranian people against the Khamenei regime: Ali Daei, Ali Karimi and Iranian-Kurdish player Voria Ghafouri.

Iran’s regime jailed Ghafouri for his show of solidarity with the “woman, life, freedom” movement in Iran.

Tina Ghazimorad, news editor-in-chief at London-based television outlet Manoto TV, echoed Mahoora’s scathing criticism that the Iranian team is a wholly owned subsidiary of radical Islamic Republic ideology and the state security apparatus. Manoto is one of the most popular Farsi-language channels outside of Iran and is known for its criticism of the regime.

“The Islamic Republic hijacked the national team like everything else in Iran because they made it political. the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] runs sports teams,” Ghazimorad said.

The United States government has sanctioned the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. Fox News Digital reported on terrorist links between Iran’s karate team and the IRGC.

Ghazimorad said that “the Iranians are rooting for all the other teams that are playing against them.”

Iran is facing international criticism after the brutal beating of a protester by riot police.

Iran is facing international criticism after the brutal beating of a protester by riot police.
(The Alien Desk)

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She continued: “For many Iranians, this is a national team and they have not shown any proper reaction to what is happening to Iranians in Iran. Many people who lost their lives [in the protests] supported the national team. This is a very political team. The Islamic Republic represents making a false enemy, the US All dictators need an imaginary enemy. The animosity of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards the United States… for 43 years has been unjustified.”

According to Ghazimorad, the Tehran regime diverts attention from the failures of the Islamic Republic to this fabricated enemy: “People do not suffer from the sanctions but from the actions of the Islamic Republic.” Ghazimorad also the “actions of the Islamic Republic led to sanctions.”

The United States and the EU have imposed sanctions on the clerical regime for its drive to build a nuclear weapons device and its widespread violations of human rights.

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Ghazimorad said that it is impossible to create a wall between sports and power politics in Iran.

“For the Islamic Republic everything is not pure sport or pure art because the Islamic Republic makes everything political,” he said. “It is a wrong argument to try to separate sports from politics. Sport has been politicized in Iran.”

A telling example of the Iranian regime’s use of sport as a political tool, Ghazimorad said, is the “team that met Raisi before going to Qatar and the goalkeeper [Alireza Beiranvand] bowed to Raisi”.

Beiranvand then broke his nose in Iran’s match against England. Iranians in Iran were “happy about the goalkeeper’s broken nose” because it is a kind of punishment.

Ghazimorad said that the Iranians want the national team to intensify their protests against the regime. He pointed to a recent tweet from his channel that shows Iranians cheering for England while watching the game in Iran.

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“By standing there and not singing [the] national anthem, that’s not enough,” Ghazimorad said. He said the Iranian soccer team could have “kneeled like the England team or worn black wristbands.”

the recent murder of 9 year old boy Iranian boy Kian Pirfalak, considered the youngest victim of the purge of protesters by Iran’s rulers, has sparked new fury in Iran and against the country’s soccer team.

“The Iranian team did a photo shoot and they laughed and this increased their anger. The photo shoot destroyed them because they were just laughing. The photo shoot happened just one day after Kian’s death. Instead of laughing, they they could have just posed,” he said. Ghazimorad.

Fox News Digital sent media inquiries to the US State Department, the Islamic Republic of Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its mission to the UN, as well as the US men’s national soccer team.

The US team briefly removed the Islamic Republic of Iran flag emblem from its Twitter account as a show of sympathy for the protesters in Iran. Tehran’s rulers responded, urging soccer’s world body, FIFA, to suspend the American team.

Iranian-American journalist and women’s advocate Masih Alinejad told Fox News that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a “gender apartheid regime” because “half the population of Iran is not even allowed to go to a stadium and see [a] football (soccer) game”.

University students in Tehran attend a protest on October 7, 2022, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country's moral police.

University students in Tehran attend a protest on October 7, 2022, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s moral police.
(AP Photo)

Iran’s ban on women in soccer stadiums has not prompted FIFA to punish the Islamic Republic. Alinejad also said that the Iranian football team does not represent the people of Iran.

Lisa Daftari, an Iran expert and editor-in-chief of The Foreign Desk, told Fox News Digital: “Imagine how dire the situation is for Iranians who are not actually supporting their own team as they watch their national team as not an extension of the Iranian people but aligned with the Islamic regime”.

Iranians protest in Tehran, on September 20, 2022, over the death of Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the country's moral police.

Iranians protest in Tehran, on September 20, 2022, over the death of Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the country’s moral police.
(AP Photo/Middle East Images, File)

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Added Daftari: “We saw in the Iran/England matchup how the Iranians cheered when the opposing teams scored, and they can do the same by supporting the USA in this game. If nothing else, we will surely see the Iranians using this opportunity to ask for to the United States to support their movement.”

There is a striking parallel between the 2022 World Cup and Iran’s first appearance at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, say Iran watchers. In 1978, Iranians took to the streets to protest against the rule of Iran’s last monarchist ruler, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

A year later, the Islamic revolution overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty.

Questions now abound as to whether the theocratic Islamic state is on the brink of collapse due to the mass protests rocking the Khamenei regime.



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