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Iranian weightlifter banned for life after shaking hands with Israeli

The athlete "crossed red lines" with the exchange on the medal podium in Poland.

Iranian weightlifter Mostafa Rajaei (center) shakes the hand of Israeli weightlifter Maksim Svirsky at an event in Poland, Aug. 26, 2023. Source:
Iranian weightlifter Mostafa Rajaei (center) shakes the hand of Israeli weightlifter Maksim Svirsky at an event in Poland, Aug. 26, 2023. Source:

Iranian weightlifter Mostafa Rajaei has been handed a lifetime ban by the regime in Tehran for shaking the hand of an Israeli competitor at an event in Poland, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Rajaei shook hands with Israeli weightlifter Maksim Svirsky as they stood at the medal podium at a World Masters championship in Wieliczka, in the Krakow metropolitan area, on Saturday.

According to the IRNA report, the silver-medal-winning Iranian athlete stood on the medal platform “next to the representative of the regime that burned Jerusalem and placed the Iranian flag next to the Israeli flag without paying attention to the red lines and the values ​​of the system.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran Weightlifting Federation said in a statement cited by the state-run news agency that it “bans athlete Mostafa Rajaei for life from entering all sports facilities in the country and dismisses the head of the delegation for the competition, Hamid Salehinia.”

The Islamic Republic is a sworn enemy of the Jewish state, with its leaders routinely threatening Israel’s destruction.

In 2021, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged athletes “not to shake hands with a representative of the criminal regime [Israel] to obtain a medal.”

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