October 10, 2022 – 22:18
TEHRAN – In a recently published speech that was delivered in September, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei reflected on the double standards employed by the West in various fields, including sports boycotts.
The Leader said the West has moved to politicize sports despite its claims to the contrary. “You’ve seen what they have done with sports after the war in Ukraine! They banned some countries from participating in sporting events for political reasons. That is, they cross their own red lines with ease when it’s in their interest. But then when our athlete refuses to compete with a Zionist opponent, they complain about it,” he said, according to khamanei.ir.
He made the remarks in a September 11 meeting with officials of the second National Congress of Sports Martyrs. the speech that the Leader delivered during that meeting was broadcast at the venue of the congress on October 10, 2022.
Underlining that athletes should be careful not to trample on values for the sake of a medal, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Sometimes a person might be deprived of a medal when the athlete refuses to compete with his/her opponent who has been sent by the usurping regime. He/she is deprived of getting the medal, but he/she is victorious. If anyone violates this principle, it means that he/she’s violating his/her moral victory for the sake of obtaining a technical victory in appearances. If you compete with that opponent, if you face them, it means that you’ve officially recognized the usurping regime – the regime that murders children, that mass murderer.”
He added, “Therefore, no matter what interests are at stake here, it’s still not worth it for someone to [compete against that opponent]. This is where we hear the leaders of arrogant powers and their followers, and in fact, the servants of the world’s superpowers, raising their voices to say, ‘Hey, don’t politicize sports!’”
The Leader’s remarks were made within the context of showing the authenticity of Iranian athletes refraining from competing with Israeli rivals, a move that has long been billed by Western media as a politicization of sports.
However, the Leader indicated that the Iranian athletes’ abstention is morally correct and should not see through the prism of Western double standards. Because the West itself employs double standards in fields that are not limited to sporting events.
Pundits believe that these double standards have been employed in issues such as human rights, terrorism, social media, and freedom of expression. For instance, the West has gravely violated human rights in many West Asian countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. In Iran, the West has imposed severe economic sanctions that have negatively impacted the lives of ordinary Iranians. Also, the West has supported terrorist groups while pretending to counter terrorism.
Iran stands among the few countries in the world that highlighted the West’s double standards in various fields. And this has come at a great cost.