Will Iranians compete with Israelis in London?

Tehran says its athletes will compete with Israelis at the Olympic Games.

A glimmer of hope for sportsmanship as an official from the Iranian Olympic Committee says the Iranians will compete against Israeli athletes at the upcoming Olympic Games.

“We will be truthful to sport,” Bahram Afsharzadeh, secretary general of the Iranian Olympic Committee, told the Associated Press. “We just follow the sportsmanship and play every country.”

At the 2004 Athens Games and again at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Tehran withdrew its athletes from events against Israelis.

“In sport and in Olympics, all the countries must [be] together with the teams in friendship,” Afsharzadeh was quoted as saying. “Solidarity for all the countries is very important.”

Despite these positive statements, recent history shows that nothing is for certain.

At the Beijing Games, similar statements were made yet moments before an Iranian swimmer was supposed to compete against an Israeli, the former dropped out allegedly due to illness.

The Iranian team comprises 54 athletes.

About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.