The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s wrestling federation, Alireza Dabir, declared “Death to America” in a television interview on Wednesday prior to a slated February wrestling dual meet between the national teams of the US and Iran to be held in Texas.
“We always chant ‘Death to America’ but importantly is showing it in action,” said Dabir, who won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling for Iran at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000. Dabir added that “A doctor, he might even be wearing a tie, but he is doing his job well. He is saying ‘Death to America.’ Some talk a lot but don’t do much. We need to prove it with an action that [Death to America].”
Dabir’s call for the abolition of the United States comes a little over a month before the US national team is slated to compete against Iran’s team in Arlington, Texas on February 12 in what Gary Abbott from USA Wrestling termed “the first-ever Bout at the Ballpark.”
Sardar Pashaei, the Iranian-American former head coach of Iran’s national Greco-Roman team, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that “It’s painful for me as a wrestler and national team coach to listen to these words. When I and many other athletes who have been forced to leave their homeland due to pressure from the Iranian government see Alireza Dabir, the president of the Iranian Wrestling Federation, say ‘Death to America, while he has the US Green Card in his pocket.”