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Iranian Chess Player Was Warned Not to Return to Iran After Competing Without Hijab: Source

Sara Khadem of Iran sits in front of a chess board. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev
Sara Khadem of Iran sits in front of a chess board. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev

An Iranian chess player arrived in Spain on Tuesday after receiving what a source close to her said were warnings not to return to Iran for competing without a hijab at an international tournament in Kazakhstan.

Sara Khadem, born in 1997, took part in last week's FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Almaty without the hijab - a headscarf mandatory under Iran's strict dress codes.

The source, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said Khadem subsequently received multiple phone calls in which individuals warned her against returning home after the tournament, while others said she should come back, promising to "solve her problem".

The source also said Khadem's relatives and parents, who are in Iran, had also received threats, without giving further details.

Iran's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case.

Khadem, who is also known as Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, arrived in Spain on Tuesday, the source said.

Related Story: Iranian Woman Competes at Chess Tournament Without Hijab: Media Reports

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