By Kayhan Life Staff
The Guardian Council has rejected the proposed charter of the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran (N.O.C.I.R. IRAN) and sent it back to the government for revisions, the Spokesman for the Guardian Council, Abbasali Kadkhodaei has said.
Mr. Kadkhodaei made the comments at a July 11 press conference in Tehran, during which he released the Guardian Council’s ruling on dozens of social, economic, and legal issues, including the N.O.C.I.R. Iran’s proposed charter.
The Guardian Council found 14 issues with the draft proposal of the charter, three of which it said violated the Iranian Constitution and religious principles, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
The council’s principal objection was to those articles in the charter that protected the N.O.C.I.R. Iran against political, social, and religious pressures and rejected gender discrimination.
In its decision, the Guardian Council urged the government to remove Article 16 of the charter which opposes “political, legal, religious, economic pressures and rejects gender discrimination.” The council said the article “violated religious principles and Articles 4, 12 and 13 of the constitution.”
The government, the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), and the Guardian Council have been trying to resolve their differences over the N.O.C.I.R. Iran’s charter for many years now.
While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will have the final say on the matter, the Guardian Council insists that N.O.C.I.R. Iran’s charter should not violate the country’s religious values and principles.
The IOC has already approved many of the articles in the N.O.C.I.R. Iran charter that the Guardian Council has found objectionable.
“This is an unprecedented process,” Mostafa Hashemitaba, the former head of the N.O.C.I.R. Iran, said about the Guardian Council’s ruling. “The charter does not even need the government’s approval.”
“National Olympic committees all across the world should reject all forms of political and religious discriminations,” Mr. Hashemitaba noted. “We have already accepted the charter.”
“We will face more sanctions and lose many opportunities to compete in the Asian and international sporting competitions if the IOC rejects the charter,” Hashemitaba warned.
Arash Miresmaeili, the Gold medalist in the 2001 and 2003 World Judo Championships in Munich, Germany, and Osaka, Japan, was disqualified from competing in the 2004 Summer Olympics for being two kilograms above the 66-kilograms weight limit. He had allegedly gained the weight deliberately to avoid facing his Israeli opponent, Ehud Vakas, in the first round. He denied the allegations, saying he had “not avoided his Israeli opponent deliberately.”
In February 2018, the United World Wrestling (UWW) banned Iranian freestyle wrestler, Alireza Karimi, for six months for intentionally throwing a match against his Russian opponent in the quarterfinal of the U-23 World Championship in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in 2017 to avoid facing Israel’s Uri Kalashnikov who ultimately won the bronze medal in the tournament. The UWW also banned Karimi’s coach, Hamidreza Jamshidi, from the sport for two years.
During the second day of the Paris Grand Slam 2019, Saeed Mollaei, Iranian Judoka in Men’s 81-kilogram division, deliberately threw a match against Kazakhstan’s Ruslan Mussayev to avoid facing his Israeli opponent Sagi Muki in the next round. Footage of the match showed Mr. Mollaei in tears as he was leaving the mat after losing to Mr. Mussayev, who was ranked 209 in the world.
Mollaei left Iran in 2019 and became a Mongolian citizen shortly after.
This article was translated and adapted from Persian by Fardine Hamidi.