At World Cup, US soccer scrubs Islamic emblem from Iran flag

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The U.S. Match Tuesday.

Iran’s government responded by accusing America of removing the name of God from their national flag.

The decision of the US

It also comes when the United States is fighting Iran in a decisive world cup game, which has already been marred by the decades of enmity between the two countries and the national protests that have now called the theocratic government of Tehran.

The U.S. Soccer Federation said in a statement Sunday that it decided to leave the official flag on social media accounts to show “support for the women in Iran who are fighting for basic human rights.”

The Twitter account of the US it. Men’s team Displayed a flag with the squad’s matches in the group stage, with the Iranian flag only showing its green, white and red colors. The same can be seen in a post on his Facebook and Instagram accounts Laying the point totals so far in its group.

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The American Soccer Federation displayed the official Iranian flag In a graphic showing Group B standings on its website.

The absence of the emblem comes as months-long demonstrations have challenged Iran’s government since the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Aminiwho was detained by the moral police.

The protests have seen at least 450 people killed since they began, as well as more than 18,000 arrested, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, an advocacy group following the demonstrations.

Iran has not released any casualty or arrest figures for months and claims without providing evidence that the protests were instigated by its enemies abroad, including the US.

Tehran also restricts press access and has detained more than 63 reporters and photographers since the demonstrations began, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, making it much more difficult to cover the unrest.

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Iran’s mission to the United Nations and its soccer federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. As the comments played out online, Iranian state television described the U.S.

Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Safiollah Fagahanpour, an adviser to the Iranian Football Federation, as saying that the “measures taken regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran flag are against the law” of FIFA competitions.

“They have to be responsible,” Fagahanpour said. “Obviously they want to affect Iran’s performance against the US by doing this.”

The Islamic Republic emblem, designed in 1980, is four curves with a sword between them. It represents the Islamic saying: “There is no god but God.” It also resembles a tulip or lotus.

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At the top and bottom of the flag, there are also 22 inscriptions of “God is great”, which honors the date on the Persian calendar when the Islamic revolution took hold.

The flag became a point of contention at the World Cup. Apparently pro-government supporters waved it off, shouting at the demonstrators over Amini’s death. Others at matches waved Iran’s lion and sun flag, an emblem of its former ruler, the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

More security forces could be seen in Iran’s last match against Wales. In the capital, Tehran, anti-Iranian police – the same ones who cracked down on protests – waved the Iranian flag after the Whales won, infuriating protesters.

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Associated Press writer Ronald Bloom contributed to this report.

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Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.



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