The connecting flight to Toronto via Kiev included 83 Iranian citizens and 57 Canadian citizens of Iranian origin. In some ways, these people may be regarded as defectors or potential defectors for the Iranian government.
The day after the Iranian military admitted the misfire, the standard defector appeared: kimiya arizad, an Iranian woman taekwondo athlete, sent a long message on social media, announcing that she would leave Iran forever, and denouncing the hypocrisy and discrimination of the Iranian authorities: I am nothing in their eyes, just a tool for propaganda.
Arizad is the 57kg bronze medalist of womens Taekwondo in Rio 2016 and the only female athlete in Iran to win an Olympic medal. In this long article, she describes her life to the outside world: they let me wear what I want to wear, and do everything according to their requirements. Every word I say is arranged by them.
Arizad claims to be one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran because no matter how successful she has been and how the government praises her deeds in propaganda reports, those officials will still think it is immoral for women to stretch their legs in private. Therefore, she does not want to continue to live in a society full of hypocrisy, lies and injustice. The only expectation is Taekwondo, safe, happy and healthy life.
But just three years ago, the legendary defector was proud of her identity as an Iranian woman.. Arizad was born in an Azerbaijani family (most of the top Shiite priests in Iran are from Azerbaijani, and now the supreme leader Khamenei and former state Ali Dei are Azerbaijani). At the age of 7, he practiced Taekwondo with his coach, and won the 63kg title at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Games. A year later, she won the World Championship Bronze medal, began to make a figure in the Taekwondo circle. After becoming Irans first female Olympic medal winner, arizads popularity peaked, and even President Hassan Rouhani personally congratulated her.
As an Iranian woman, I am very proud, because this is our first Olympic medal. I hope I can use a gold medal to refresh the history of the next Olympic Games and open up a new path for other Iranian women. Arizad said after the game that when she was wearing the flag around the field, the cloth towel on her head was very conspicuous. Im very excited now. I want to thank my parents and coach, who gave me a lot of support behind my back.
The good girl from Alberts has become the pride of the whole country. The government praised her as a symbol of Islamic aristocracy and wisdom. All Iranian women are happy with her achievements. At the recognition conference after the Olympic Games, due to her historic contribution, she received an additional $3000 from the government (usually $5000 for Iranian bronze medalists and $8000 for arizad).
Of course, the reward is not for nothing. She needs to constantly endorse for the government in public. The hard won Olympic medals were donated by the Iranian government to an 18-year-old anonymous martyr who died in the courtyard behind the Iranian Taekwondo Association during a asylum.
In addition to taking things directly from arizad, officials used her influence to promote other projects.
Ali rabii, Irans minister of labor and social welfare, forced arizad to become Irans welfare Ambassador because her success showed that Iranian women are happy in the country.
Iran needs people to achieve in different fields, rabiy said of arizads performance in the Olympic Games. Arizad is the hope of our countrys future. With such a young woman, the future of this country will be very bright.
Rabiy repeatedly stressed the glory that arizad brought to Iran, and regarded her as an example of Iranian womens happiness: she is also wearing a headscarf, but is famous for her personal ability and proved her personal value. I hope she can be appointed as our welfare ambassador.
This kind of propaganda strategy has achieved very good results, even the western media are full of praise for arizad. In the past 2019, she has also been included in the BBCs most influential and inspiring list of 100 women, with the words: arizad encourages Iranian girls and women to broaden the boundaries of personal freedom, and she hopes to inspire the next generation of Iranian women to participate in this campaign.
But when she defected, arizad said that she was just a propaganda tool of the government. Her dress, speech and activities were all pointed behind her back. Even for a person who has made great achievements like him, all kinds of freedom were restricted.
There are signs of defection. In March 2019, arizad made a profound remark on social media: they say that the world belongs to those who get up early. This is a lie. The world belongs to those who are happy with their awakening.
Irans state news agency said arizad has gone to Eindhoven, the Netherlands, but she did not disclose any information. According to previous reports, she is preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the training camp far away from her family, but has not yet decided which country to represent after defection.
Mimoun El boujjoufi, coach of the local Taekwondo Association, confirmed the news: she came here on the 18th of last month, but she decided not to go back to Iran with her fiance and offered to join us. She is a world-famous Taekwondo player, her arrival has enriched the wealth of Dutch Taekwondo.
But if she wants to represent the Netherlands in the Olympics, she has to apply for political asylum first, which will be a very long and complex process. Now she trains at the local Taekwondo club every day and refuses all media interviews.
She just wanted to leave first, and then she didnt think about what to do. Her family is still in Iran, and the situation is very difficult for her. But shes professional and motivated by Taekwondo. Said mimoun El boujjoufi.
U.S. state media spoke on social media about the escape of Iranian Olympic medalist Ali ZAD, who said Iranian officials had resorted to sexism and abuse. There are no more details about how arizad was oppressed.
Iran will continue to lose more outstanding women unless it learns to empower them and support them, State Department spokesman Morgan altagus hailed arizads rejection of the regimes oppression of women. Her words are not groundless. In the first two weeks of 2020, three female athletes from Iran defected to their home country. Arizad is not the first and will not be the last.
Since the Islamic revolution in 1979, Iran has become an Islamic country with the unity of politics and religion. According to the revelation of the Koran, women should cover their bodies with their coats, so that they are most easily known and inviolable. In 2006, Irans parliament passed the dress code, which stipulates that women over the age of 9 in Iran must wear headscarves and long clothes. If they violate the dress code, they will be arrested by the religious police.
During this years Shanghai chess championship, the photo of bayat as a referee without a headscarf was widely spread, and then was criticized and attacked by Iranian media and Internet users. Bayat knew that she would be retaliated by Iran, and she would never return to Iran, and finally chose to seek the protection of other countries: this is a very difficult decision, because I will miss it My family, but now, I can be myself.
Coincidentally, on January 2, Mitra hejazibour, a chess master who defected to Iran because she took off her head scarf in the match, said that she would continue to participate in the match in her own name and settle down in France after being told that she was expelled from the Iranian national team. In February 2017, dorsa derakhshani, a beautiful chess player, was expelled from the national team for the same reason. She was 15 years old In July of the same year, dorsa announced that he would represent the United States. All of the women who refused to wear headscarves had the same charge of endangering national interests.
But defection is not exclusive to Iranian female athletes.
Arilisa firuzya is the No.1 young chess player in the U16 age group in the world. He won the domestic championship at the age of 12 and won the Master title at the age of 14. At the end of last year, he publicly said that he hoped to change Iranian nationality to France or the United States, because Iran refused him to participate in the Championship held in Russia, because Israeli athletes would also participate.
Due to historical reasons, there are huge contradictions between Iran and Israel in terms of religion and nationality. As early as 1998, Irans attitude towards Israel was not to recognize its regime, not to engage in any contact and dialogue with the government. Among Iranian athletes, there is also a ban on competition with Israeli athletes. Many Iranian political and sports officials have repeatedly publicly called on their athletes not to compete with Israeli athletes. Irans top leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has repeatedly praised Iranian athletes in public for refusing to compete with Israeli athletes.
Athletes are not allowed to choose opponents in sports competitions, so in the end, Iranian athletes are often forced to deliberately lose the competition in case of encountering Israeli athletes. It often puts Iranian athletes in a dilemma, especially in wrestling and judo, two sports that both sides are good at.
The International Wrestling Association banned Karimi for half a year for violating international wrestling rules, while his coach was suspended for two years. Iran Wrestling Association praised Karimis practice on social media, called him hero, regarded the punishment of International Wrestling Association as oppression on him, and talked about his dedication to the country.
In an interview, Karimi said he had to lose the game and accused Israel of heinous crimes: I worked hard for months to win the gold medal, and it was easy for me to win the game. Israel is the oppressor and the culprit, but can we stop undermining my efforts?
But not every Iranian athlete is as obedient as Karimi. In September, said mollaei, an Iranian judo athlete, officially announced that he would no longer compete as an Iranian national, becoming the first Iranian athlete to change his nationality.
Moray, the 81kg world Judo Championship champion in 2018, was asked to lose to Russian Olympic champion Khasan khalmurzaev in the quarter finals when he tried to defend his title at the Tokyo championship in 2019. The reason is the same as Karimi: avoid meeting Israeli athletes in the future. But Moray ignored this request, and he successfully entered the top four, but unfortunately, he lost to Matthias case, a Belgian player in the semi-final, and failed to face the Israeli player and the final champion of that competition, Sagi muki, in the final.
In December last year, he applied for political asylum to stay in Germany. Then, he officially became a citizen of Mongolia. Im a fighter and I want to do my best anywhere, but I live in a country where Im not allowed to do it. We must strive to build a better world, a peaceful, fairer and more friendly world, Moray said
If the outflow of a large number of high-end talents is the undercurrent of Iranian society, then the successive departure of elite athletes is a tsunami, revealing the true face of this country full of lies and deceptions. Faced with the increasingly serious brain drain phenomenon, Iran cant sit still. Congressman abdolkarim hosseinzadeh condemned the incompetence of Iranian officials and failed to stop the brain drain in Iran. If you can choose, these elite talents may not want to be defectors, Alizadeh said in a long article that his decision to leave is more difficult than winning the Olympic champion, and stressed in the end: wherever I am, I am the daughter of Iran. However, in the foreseeable future, there will be more Iranian defectors in other corners of the world. Source: Netease sports manuscript Author: nanyangyu, editor in charge: Zhou Juntao, ns4573
If the outflow of a large number of high-end talents is the undercurrent of Iranian society, then the successive departure of elite athletes is a tsunami, revealing the true face of this country full of lies and deceptions. Faced with the increasingly serious brain drain phenomenon, Iran cant sit still. Congressman abdolkarim hosseinzadeh condemned the incompetence of Iranian officials and failed to stop the brain drain in Iran.
If you can choose, these elite talents may not want to be defectors, Alizadeh said in a long article that his decision to leave is more difficult than winning the Olympic champion, and stressed in the end: wherever I am, I am the daughter of Iran.
However, in the foreseeable future, there will be more Iranian defectors in other corners of the world.