U.S. soccer match against Iran in World Cup shines light on oppression under Islamic regime
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Despite the win against Iran, soccer took a back seat to politics as the two teams faced off today. The U.S. Men’s National team has continuously shown support for women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.
The World Cup is often a tournament that brings the world together. “We came out to have our team meeting at lunch time to support USA,” said one fan supporting the team. But this year, it’s also brought out calls for change. “What’s going on in Iran right now is horrible,” she said.
Another fan, MJ Simpson, said, “There’s a lot of people who are excited. There is a lot of tension on a lot of levels about this game, on the geopolitical level and also on the world cup level.”
On Sept. 16, an Iranian woman died in custody while detained by morality police for wearing her hijab improperly. “That spark is what has brought us to protests worldwide wanting a regime change from people of Iran and Iranians living outside Iran,” said Hessam Rahimian, an advocate for Iranians here in the Valley.
Rahimian has been organizing protests throughout Phoenix and Scottsdale for the past three months, leading at least one every week. “We’re trying to raise awareness on what’s going on in Iran, the crimes against humanity by Islamic Republic and that is basically all we can do at this point,” he said.
In protest, he did not watch the match, saying he preferred to focus on the uprising and revolution against the Islamic regime. “This game is nothing but a distraction at this point. People of Iran want freedom. People of Iran want regime change. People of Iran want the killing, and murdering, and torturing, and arresting to stop,” Rahimian said.
Despite the outcome of Tuesday’s game, people told Arizona’s Family they find comfort in knowing Iranian voices are being heard on an international scale.
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