Ex-US intel. head urges Olympics to ban Iran for murder of wrestler

Categories: Iran


The former US acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban the Islamic Republic of Iran from sports competitions after the regime murdered the reportedly innocent champion wrestler Navid Afkari.

“For engagement to work, there also needs to be moments where you say, ‘This has crossed the line so much that you don’t get to participate in the international community,’” Grenell told Outsports media outlet on Monday. “So I would like to see, because of the systemic human rights abuses by the Iranian regime, I would like to see the Olympics say, ‘You are no longer welcome in international competition.’”

Prior to the Iranian regime’s execution of Afkari on September 12, Grenell told The Jerusalem Post in early September that the IOC should probe the then-planned execution of Afkari.

The IOC told the Post following Grenell’s demand, and a series of reports in the Post, that “The IOC is aware of the case of Navid Afkari and has, like United World Wrestling, taken steps to follow up on the matter.”

The head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, along with Nenad Lalovic, the president of United World Wrestling, have faced intense criticism for failing to take forceful action against the clerical regime in Tehran prior to the execution of Afkari.

Writing on the website of the LGBT website Outsports, Cyd Zeigler noted that “So far the IOC’s response has been insultingly tepid.” He added that “the International Olympic Committee has a history of banning countries from competing at the Olympic Games.”

Read More: Jerusalem Post