“We support the rights of all athletes to express themselves however they wish. Iran’s leadership should be heeding their athletes’ calls for change, rather than stifling them through intimidation and threats,”the State Department told The Foreign Desk.
“The Islamic Republic unfortunately seems to be continuing a long history of employing draconian tactics to intimidate its athletes and stifle their freedom of expression–even from abroad. From soccer to rock climbing, martial arts, and chess—no Iranian athlete is spared from the Islamic Republic’s intimidation and reprisals,” the State Department said to The Foreign Desk.
“The people of Iran and the nations of the world will be watching the athletes’ treatment upon their return to Iran. If Iranian authorities deny the athletes their fundamental rights, it will only serve to further isolate Iran from the world,” the State Department said.